Thursday, 18 March 2010

Mall tycoon’s son buys stake in firm running RP power grid
Mmain report by Reuters

ONETAIPAN Holdings, controlled by the son of mall tycoon Henry Sy, yesterday said it would pay approximately $350 million to acquire a 30% interest in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

OneTaipan said it would buy Monte Oro Grid Resources, which holds the National Grid stake, using equity and debt arranged by a foreign financial institution which it did not identify.

"The investment represents our commitment to be a part of the power sector which is a critical engine to the country’s development and growth," Henry Sy Jr. said in a statement, of his first foray in the power industry.

National Grid Corp. was formed after the government sold a 25-year license to a consortium led by China’s State Grid Corp to run the country’s power grid for $3.95 billion, the country’s biggest privatization deal.

The consortium paid 25% of its winning bid, or about $1 billion, in Jan. 2009, with the remainder to be paid over the next 15 years. The Chinese firm holds 40% of National Grid and local firm Calaca High Power Corp owns 30%.

Last year Mr. Sy Jr.’s group, Triratna Holdings Corp., made a surprise offer to buy a 13.4% stake in top power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) at a premium of nearly 60%. But his offer was matched by the PLDT group, a key shareholder that had priority rights over the shares.

Triratna had also qualified to bid for National Grid but did not submit an offer.

Mr. Sy Jr.’s father is one of the country’ richest men. He controls SM Investments Corp. which has interests in retail, property development, mall operations and banking.

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