Meralco to hike stake in George Ty’s GBPC to 22%

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Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is set to acquire an additional 2 percent stake in Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), raising its total holding in the subsidiary to 22 percent.

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Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company is not ruling out the possibility it may even increase its total interest in GBPC to a more substantial 50 percent.

At the company’s annual stockholders meeting, Meralco president Oscar Reyes said the firm has received board approval to proceed with the acquisition of the additional 2-percent stake in GBPC.

GBPC is the power unit of GT Capital Holdings Inc. (GTCAP). Led by George Ty, GTCAP is the holding company of the businesses of the whole Metrobank Group.

Currently, Meralco has a 20 percent stake in GBPC, which it bought from First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC), the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group, last year for an investment of P7.15 billion.

“It’s a good business and the Metrobank group has managed it well so [it is going to be a]good investment [if Meralco hikes its stake to 50 percent in GBPC],” Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the annual stockholders meeting.

Pangilinan said the acquisition is yet to be finalized next month. He declined to give a figure for the amount of investment involved.

According to him, the shares were bought from FMIC. Upon conclusion of the transaction, the resulting ownership structure of GBPC will be as follows—FMIC will have only 5.11 percent, Orix Corp. of Japan 22 percent, Meralco 22 percent, and GTCAP will retain its majority ownership at 50.89 percent.

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