Businessman Roberto Ongpin and his associates saw their stake in Alphaland Corp. expanding to 50.57 percent after a capital call, on which the Ashmore group, Alphaland’s former single largest majority shareholder, defaulted.
A disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday showed that Ashmore committed a serious irregularity, in which the company misrepresented a 2.5-percent block of shares as having been sold, in order for Alphaland to meet the required 10-percent minimum float of the bourse.
In early January, Alphaland was saved from being delisted in the local bourse after it met the public float requirement.
This, after Alphaland reported that Alphaland Holdings (Singapore) Pte Ltd. had sold 49.6 million common shares, equivalent to 2.5 percent of Alphaland, at P19 apiece to “a qualified buyer,” which was later reported by Ashmore to be Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd. on December 31, 2012. This alleged sale increased the Alphaland’s public float to 10.53 percent.
Recently, however, Alphaland learned that Ashmore remained the beneficial owner of the 2.5-percent share block, when this was communicated in writing by Ashmore itself.
“Ongpin’s group, headed by RVO Capital Ventures Corp., has been locked in a boardroom battle with Ashmore since early 2013,” Alphaland said.
Before the capital call, the stake of RVO in Alphaland was only 21.73, while Ashmore had 69.37 percent. The board of Alphaland, however, pointed out that disagreements have not affected Alphaland’s bottom line.
For 2013, Alphaland made record profits of P6.5 billion, compared to the P2.02 billion it earned in 2012. According to the group, it has proceeded with some of its projects, of which some are already completed despite altercation with Ashmore.
“The board of Alphaland has simply come to the conclusion that Ashmore is more of a hindrance than a help in pursuing its various projects,” Alphaland further said.