Ayala Corp. raises P3.3B in fresh funds

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Conglomerate Ayala Corp. has raised fresh funds through a shares placement, earning about P3.3 billion, to finance infrastructure and power projects it has in its pipeline.

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The group reported to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Thursday that it completed the placement of 5.1 million common shares held in its treasury. The shares were priced at P647 per share, a 3-percent discount to its closing market price of P667.

Ayala Corp. raised cash proceeds of approximately P3.3 billion through the placement, which the conglomerate intends to use to fund existing and potential sizable projects in the infrastructure and power sectors.

The group earlier said that it is looking to invest up to $1 billion over the next five years in these two sectors.

“This new funding will further strengthen our balance sheet to build up our portfolio in these two sectors. Overall, we are excited about the opportunities and the strategic value that investments in these two sectors can bring to Ayala,” said Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala president and chief operating officer.

“We hope to be able to contribute in some measure to the development of these sectors, and at the same time create future sources of earnings and value for the group,” he added.

The shares are expected to be crossed through the PSE on Thursday as well, upon obtaining approval of the share block sale from the bourse, while the expected settlement date is June 4, 2013.

CLSA Ltd. was the sole placing agent in the offer of Ayala’s treasury shares.

Ayala earlier committed over $300 million of equity for approximately 900 megawatts of gross generating capacity but several weeks ago, the group said that it is looking to increase its equity commitment to $500 to $600 million in the next 12 to 18 months.

In transport infrastructure, on top of the Daang Hari-Southern Luzon Expressway Connector road, the first public-private partnership project rolled out which Ayala won, the company has set its sights on bidding for certain projects like toll roads, rails and airports.

Ayala, in partnership with Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), had prequalified to bid for the Light Rail Transit Line 1 extension, and operation and management project.

Ayala also prequalified to bid for the Mactan Cebu International Airport passenger terminal project in partnership with Aboitiz Equity Ventures and ADC & HAS Airports Inc.

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