• CAT’s public ownership made less public

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    Emeterio Sd. Perez

    Emeterio Sd. Perez

    THE stockholders of Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT), which is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange, are keeping the public in suspense over their plan or plans for the company.

    They are lucky because no one among CAT’s public stockholders appears to be curious about changing the par value of the company’s authorized capital stock to P1 from P10. The new par value effectively increased to 400 million from 40 million the number of shares, which the Securities and Exchange Commission has approved for issuance.

    The first question that may be asked or should have been asked is what the new stockholders would do with CAT’s real estate property. Is the company changing its priority by partially converting to other “uses” some if not all of its property worth close to P1billion? CAT Resource and Asset Holdings Inc. may want to enlighten the public by providing the true ownership profile.

    A public ownership report (POR) listed two principal or substantial stockholders. It listed CAT Resource as the owner of 20.734 million shares or 71.4 percent, and Luisita Trust Fund as the owner of 4.734 million shares or 16.76 percent.

    Capital profile

    As of Aug. 31, 2016, Central Azucarera de Tarlac reported 28,254,596 issued common shares of which 720 were treasury shares; thus leaving the company with 28,253,876 outstanding common shares, according to a the POR posted on September 14, 2016 on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange. (For changes in CAT’s ownership, see Duediligencer, Oct. 23, 2014)

    That particular filing did not show any change in CAT’s POR profile. But the majority ownership changed from Jose Cojuangco & Sons to CAT Resource.

    A posting dated Oct. 15, 2014 showed the company’s issued shares at 28,254,596, with the same number of treasury shares and outstanding shares.

    Those were the numbers that remained constant. However, the ownership by the public has drastically dropped to 3,344,870 common shares, or 11.84 percent from 13,420,342 common shares, or 47.5 percent.
    Unlucky public! They must have seen how CAT share price has been surging.

    Stock split

    In a PSE posting, CAT disclosed the reduction of its par value to P1 from P10 per share; expansion of the number of directors to nine from seven; and profit sharing for the directors.

    The effects would be the increase in CAT’s authorized capital stock to 400 million from 40 million; and entitlement of nine directors to three percent of net profit. In addition, each director “shall receive a reasonable per diem for every board meeting attended.”

    As of Sept. 14, CAT has yet to implement the new P1 par value. It still lists on the PSE website 28,254,596 issued shares, which are all listed; and 28,253,876 outstanding shares. Its free-float level, however, dropped to 11.84 percent.

    When CAT shares were last traded on Sept. 5, it closed at P205.

    Luisita Fund’s holdings

    With two stockholders owning 88.16 percent, the public are left with 11.84 percent, down from 47.5 percent.
    CAT Resource, on the other hand, held 20,171,914 CAT shares, or 71.4 percent, after buying out Jose Cojuangco and Sons. The selling public stockholders could have included Manuel Dimaculangan who was listed as holder of 301,792 CAT shares, the same number that Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino 3rd, a former chief occupant of Malaccanang, used to own.

    In 2013, Jose Cojuangco and Sons and Luisita Trust Fund used to own 7,844,828 CAT shares, or 7.8 percent, and 4,734,492 CAT shares, or 16.76 percent, respectively.

    The latest POR as of Aug. 31 showed the takeover by CAT Resource did not affect at all the ownership of Luisita Fund, which remains at 16.76 percent. From the percentage, the public would be able to make their own conclusion on who among them were the sellers and who chose to stick to their CAT shares.

    Lucky are CAT’s public stockholders who own 3,344,870 shares, or 11.84 percent. They may be in for a big surprise if CAT Resource as the majority stockholder would decide to change the primary purpose of CAT’s charter from sugar producer to property developer.

     esdperez@gmail.com

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