GT Capital buys into property firm Pro-Friends for P7.24B

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GT Capital Holdings Inc., the listed conglomerate of tycoon George Ty, has acquired a 22.68 percent stake in mass housing developer Property Co. of Friends Inc. (Pro-Friends or PCFI) for P7.24 billion in a bid to enter the burgeoning low-cost housing segment.

GT Capital said it signed an agreement with Pro-Friends on Friday in which the Ty-led group will subscribe to 18.186 million shares of the unlisted property firm for a 22.68 percent interest in the company.

Under the deal, GT Capital has an option to increase its direct shareholding in Pro-Friends up to 51 percent within the next three years.

“We view this acquisition as a mutually beneficial partnership for both parties. PCFI has the product expertise and the strategic land bank, while GT Capital has the financial resources and access to capital,” GT Capital chairman Francisco C. Sebastian said in a statement.


“Our partnership adds a new dimension to GT Capital’s property development portfolio and will enable our group to be one of the market leaders in the low-cost housing sector,” Sebastian said.

For his part, PCFI chairman Guillermo C. Choa said: “The low-cost housing segment is the real sweet spot in the country’s property sector, with a supply shortage of over three million homes, which continues to grow annually. Our partnership with GT Capital will strengthen our ability to be a leading player in serving this urgent market need.”

“Moreover, the potential synergies of working with other component companies in the GT Capital group will enable us to offer our live, work, learn, play, and worship estates to many more middle income Filipino families,” Choa added.

Established in 1999, PCFI is engaged in developing low-cost and economic housing units, as well as retail and office spaces.

It has already sold more than 36,000 affordable homes, mostly in Cavite and Iloilo. Its flagship and largest project is the Lancaster New City which spans from Kawit to Imus and General Trias in Cavite.

The property firm is owned by the Choa family via its parent firm Pro-Friends Group Inc. (PGI), formerly Amicus Holdings Inc., which also owns an independent in-house financing firm, Williamton Holdings Inc.

GT Capital is allotting around P50 billion for its capital expenditures this year, around the same amount of its actual capital spending last year.

Incorporated in 2007, GT Capital is involved in banking (Metrobank), real estate (Federal Land Inc.), power (Global Business Power Corp.), automotive (Toyota Motor Phlippines, Toyota Manila Bay Corp. and Toyota Cubao Inc.), automotive leasing and financing (Toyota Financial Services Philippines Corp.), insurance (AXA Life Insurance), and non-life insurance (Charter Ping An).

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