PLDT Inc. said Wednesday it sold its remaining stake in power retailer Manila Electric Co. and Global Business Power Corp. to sister company Metro Pacific Investments Corp. for P21.8 billion.
PLDT said in a disclosure to the stock exchange that unit PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures Inc. signed a share purchase agreement with Metro Pacific covering the sale of its remaining 25-percent equity interest in Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc..
Beacon is a special purpose company jointly owned by PCEV and MPIC that holds a 35-percent interest in Meralco and a 56-percent interest in power producer Global Business Power Corp. PCEV’s interest in Meralco was 8.7 percent.
Under the agreement, MPIC will pay P12 billion in cash on closing, which is anticipated to occur within the month. The balance of P9.8 billion will be paid over the next four years.
Metro Pacific will purchase 645,756,250 common shares constituting 25 percent of the outstanding shares of Beacon at P24.798 per share and 458,370,086 Class “A” preferred shares at P12.62 per share constituting 25 percent of the total economic rights on the outstanding Class “A” preferred shares.
Metro Pacific said that upon completion of the transaction, it would continue to own a direct 10.5 percent interest in Meralco and, through its 100-percent interest in Beacon, a further 35 percent, thereby taking its effective ownership in Meralco to 45.5 percent, up from 41.2 percent and in Global Power to 56 percent directly and 6.4 percent indirectly, through Meralco.
PCEV will no longer have any direct interest in Beacon and indirect interest in Meralco and Global Power.
“The divestment of our Beacon investment will help the PLDT group focus on the key priorities in its core businesses. While the investment is now viewed as no longer strategic, it has nonetheless been a very financially satisfying one,” PLDT and PCEV chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
“Proceeds from the sale will be used principally to reduce debt and to fund the ongoing network upgrade and expansion,” he said.
PCEV has invested in Meralco and Beacon since 2009 an aggregate amount of about P24 billion. Over the years, PCEV received P14.7 billion in cash dividends and completed its divestment for an aggregate consideration of P51.6 billion.
“The acquisition of PCEV’s remaining 25 percent in Beacon, at what I consider to be a very attractive entry price, means that for the first time we have no minority partner in our power portfolio holding company,” MPIC chief executive Jose Ma. Lim said.
“We are now free to accelerate our rate of participation in the Philippine power sector building on our nationwide presence as we embrace distribution, thermal generation, renewables and energy from waste,” he said.