The consortium taking conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) private said it had bought more than 97 percent of the company’s total issued and outstanding shares, enough for its delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).
MPIC Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said he is “amazed” by the results of the tender offer.
“What are the implicit messages of that? The times have moved on. My theory is that conglomerates are passé. There’s a focus now on specific companies that are simpler to analyze like Meralco [Manila Electric Co.]. (It has) one product only—power. No need to add sauce or color,” he said.
“Filipinos have a natural aversion to something big, that is why our stock exchange is too small. And because it’s too small it impinges on the issue of liquidity. Investors, even foreign investors, want to go in and be able to get out whenever they want to. That is the nature of the beast.”
In its disclosure, the consortium led by Metro Pacific Holdings Inc., GT Capital Holdings Inc., Japan’s Mitsui and Co. Ltd. and MIG Holdings Inc. have tendered a total of 5.46 billion shares of MPIC equivalent to 19.04 percent of MPIC’s total issued and outstanding listed shares.
Together with the shareholding of the bidders, qualifying common shares of members of the MPIC board of directors and other nonpublic shares, this is equivalent to 97.22 percent of MPIC’s total issued and outstanding listed shares.
GT Capital and state-owned Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), however, held on to their shares. GSIS even raised its stake to 11.92 percent, but both were supportive of the consortium’s delisting plans.
Pangilinan said GSIS is entitled to one board seat after the delisting.
“Considering these results, when the tendered shares are accepted and crossed, the bidders expect MPIC’s public float to fall below 10 percent and pave the way for MPIC’s voluntary delisting, in accordance with voluntary delisting procedures of the Philippine Stock Exchange,” the consortium said in a statement.
The tender offer is now closed. The cross date of the tendered shares is on September 26 and the settlement date is on September 28.
On the cross date, MPIC’s public float is expected to fall to 2.78 percent.
Speaking on the sidelines of the mining conference, Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibition, Pangilinan said the company will now focus on listing its major operating units starting with Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. by next year.
The listing of Maynilad Water Services Inc., the West Zone concessionaire, may take place in 2025 or 2026.