Alphaland sells shares to foreign investors, bolsters ops

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Alpahaland Corp. has sold a combined 109 million shares at P2.50 apiece to three foreign investors, raising more than P272 million that it says it “sorely needs in order to maintain its operations.”

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It issued 10 million shares, worth P25 million, to Citadel Investments Ltd., another 10 million shares for P25 million to Derek Arculli, an individual investor, and 89 million shares, worth US$5 million, to Fine Land Ltd.

With the entry of new investors, Alphaland’s common shares rose to 3.4 billion, while its public float was also lifted to 11.02 percent from 8.04 percent, enabling the firm to meet the government’s 10 percent minimum public ownership requirement.

None of the three new shareholders is related to Alphaland nor to any of its major shareholders, directors or officers, the company said.

Alphaland’s decision to bring in new shareholders is expected to ease its simmering dispute with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Last month, the bourse initiated delisting procedures on Alphaland shares after the company repeatedly failed to submit “full, fair, accurate and timely disclosure of material information.”

The PSE action came after allegations of a simulated sale of Alphaland shares between the Ashmore Group and Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd. Alphaland later issued an announcement, saying it was in financial distress, and it subsequently undertook a stock rights offering.

Alphaland has decried PSE’s delisting bid as “grossly unfair”, but the latter has yet to respond to the assertion.

The company also said another foreign investor has expressed in taking a stake in it.

“In the interest of full transparency, we also wish to inform the exchange that another potential investor, Goodwill Financial Services Co. Ltd., is subscribing to 8.8 million common shares for . . . US$500,000,” Alphaland said in a regulatory filing.

“However, we were informed that it will remit payment only upon the lifting of the trading suspension. If the subscription is paid, the company’s public float would increase further to 11.28 percent,” it added.

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