Japanese firm buys stake in GBPC for P7.15B

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First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), the investment-banking unit of Metrobank Group, has sold 200 million Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) shares to a Japanese firm for P7.15 billion.

GT Capital Holdings (GTCap), in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, announced that FMIC conducted a share sale and purchase agreement for 200 million shares of GBPC to ORIX Corp. of Tokyo, Japan.

“The signing of the agreement represents a significant step in pursuing Global Business Power’s strategy. We believe that ORIX will provide the company with a strong, well-financed strategic partner that will contribute to its future growth” FMIC Chairman Francisco Sebastian said.

After the transaction, FMIC will retain a 29.11-percent stake in GBPC, ORIX with 20 percent and GTCap retaining its majority ownership at 50.89 percent.

GTCap is the listed investment holding company of the Ty family, with the component businesses including GBPC and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., among others.

“The sale purchase agreement for the GBPC shares is in line with Metrobank’s capital raising initiatives in preparation for the upcoming implementation of Basel 3 in the Philippines by January 1, 2014,” GTCap further said in its disclosure to the local bourse.

GBPC is one of the largest independent power producers in the Visayas. It currently owns and operates nine power plants, with a total installed capacity of 627 megawatts (MW).

From a 230-MW mainly bunker fuel capacity in 2006, the company has completed a 410-MW expansion program for its plants, utilizing clean coal-fired technology. The completed plants commenced commercial operations in 2011.

ORIX, on the other hand, is a leading integrated financial services group that provides products and services to corporate and retail customers in Japan and in many other countries as well.

GTCap further cited that in Japan, ORIX is expanding into energy-related businesses across a wide range of areas, including energy saving business, electruc power trading, and power generation using renewable energy such as solar, geothermal and wood chip biomass.

In the Philippines, ORIX jointly established a leasing company with Metrobank. In addition, the company has built a firm base in the Philippines with the GTCap Group as strategic partner.

ORIX developed 825 luxury condominium units in 2007 together with major real estate company Federal Land, Inc. which is another component company of GTCap, and has engaged in the joint development of multiple large-scale facilities since 2011.

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