GBP eyes acquisition of 6 power firms

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GLOBAL Business Power Corp. (GBP) is targeting to acquire six power firms in the country as part of its goal to be the top supplier in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

“There are [planned acquisitions]. You know one of the things that we are looking at … is that we believe that there will be consolidation in the industry,” GBP President Jaime Azurin told a news conference.

“Our fearless forecast is about six major suppliers of power in the Philippines,” he said.

The potential firms were not named.


Last June, GBP—which is owned by tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan under his umbrella holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. —acquired a 50 percent stake in Alsons Thermal Energy Corp. (ATEC) of the Alcantara family.

ATEC is a holding firm that owns coal-powered generators in Mindanao. The transaction was estimated to cost P4.25 billion.

GBP said the acquisition has already been approved by the Philippine Competition Commission, an anti-trust body mandated to review mergers and acquisitions that cost P1 billion and above.

“This was approved by the Philippine Competition Commission [on]September 25, 2017 and before the month ends—this November—is that we will finally close the deal by the signing of our shareholders’ agreement with Alsons Group,” Azurin said.

“The acquisition gave us a foothold in Mindanao and it will now become one of the major players in power in the Mindanao area together with Alsons. It has a potential of 360 megawatts (MW). The first unit is already operational with a contracted capacity of 105 MW—meaning 100 percent of the capacity of the plant is fully contracted,” he noted.

Meanwhile, GBP is under way with construction of a second plant in Mindanao with a targeted fully-contracted capacity of 95 MW and a 25-year power supply agreement (PSA).

GBP entered into an agreement with Japan Gas Corp. for the latter to serve as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the expansion. The deal is estimated to cost $285 million.

“The third is a greenfield project that is being developed and hopefully will be closed sometime next year. It’s another 118 MW [plant]in Zamboanga City which has already a PSA with a provisional authority with the Energy Regulatory Commission for 85 MW,” Azurin said.

“The objective … is to be a major player in all the regions—with Meralco (Manila Electric Company) in Luzon and Global Power in the Visayas and Mindanao are,” Azurin said.

GBP is also looking to add renewable energy into its portfolio to complement its coal and diesel technologies.

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