• Ayala eyeing utilities and real estate in Indonesia

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    CONGLOMERATE Ayala Corp. continues to scout for business opportunities in the power, water and real estate sectors in Indonesia in a bid to further expand its footprint globally, a top company official said.

    “We’re always looking for acquisitions. We’re looking for acquisition opportunities in the power space to grow our portfolio and hopefully diversify it in terms of thermal versus renewable capacity,” Paolo Maximo F. Borromeo, AC managing director, told reporters on the sidelines of the Asian Venture Capital Journal Forum on Wednesday.

    “And we would be open to looking at opportunities overseas, including Indonesia, in power, water and real estate,” Borromeo said.

    Borromeo said Indonesia is an attractive market where the Ayala group can spread its business expertise as the Indonesian market is closely similar to that of the Philippines.

    “Nothing definite yet,” he said. “Indonesia is a big market in terms of population, very similar to us in terms of demographic dividend and the gaps of the market. It feels conducive for a company like us to be able to bring our skills to the table in Indonesia,” he added.

    Ayala Corp was earlier reported to be one of three local groups looking to buy the Philippine and Indonesian geothermal assets of US-based energy firm Chevron. The other two were said to be Energy Development Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.

    Chevron is reportedly selling off its Philippine and Indonesian geothermal assets for an aggregate amount of $2.5 billion in order to focus on its core oil business.

    Ayala Corp unit Manila Water Company Inc. is targeting to spread its water distribution business across Southeast Asian countries, while property unit Ayala Land Inc continues to leverage on the robust property market in the Philippines.

    In July, Ayala Corp raised P10 billion from the issue of fixed-rate bonds due in 2023. The bond offer was the first tranche of its P20-billion fundraising program under shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Founded in 1834 and incorporated in 1968, Ayala Corp is the holding company of the Ayala family’s businesses, which include water (Manila Water), telecoms (Globe Telecom Inc.), property (ALI), semiconductors (Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc.), banking (Bank of the Philippine Islands), power (AC Energy Holdings Inc.), infrastructure (AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.) and BPO and education (LiveIt Investments Ltd.), among others.

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