Ongpin firm to list at bourse


Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc., the investment vehicle of businessman and former Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin in conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), has received a go-signal from its board to make its debut in the country’s equities market.

After a property dividend declaration, SMC’s major stockholder, Top Frontier, announced that it has decided to list at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) by way of introduction.

“The board of directors of Top Frontier, during its meeting on Thursday afternoon, approved the filing of an application with the exchange for the listing by way of introduction of all the common shares of Top Frontier,” listed group SMC said in its disclosure to the PSE.

Also, SMC has declared 240.2 million shares of Top Frontier as property dividends at a ratio of 1 share for every 10 shares of SMC share held by a stockholder.

The fair value of a dividend share, according to the diversified conglomerate, shall be P178 each share, based on the valuation report rendered by Punongbayan and Araullo, an independent advisor engaged by SMC.

The payment of the dividend declaration shall be upon the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At SMC’s price of P76 as of Wednesday, Top Frontier is worth P70.54 billion and SMC’s shares in Top Frontier are worth P34.56 billion.

“If SMC is at P76, 10 shares of SMC worth P760 would entitle the shareholder to a property dividend worth P143.89. This results in a dividend yield of 18.9 percent. The yield will be the same regardless of the price of SMC,” RCBC Securities Inc. said in an e-mail.

RCBC Securities further said that another way to look at the property dividend is that it adds a value of P14.38 to every one SMC share.

“We have no rating on SMC but the above property dividend provides a good buying opportunity,” the brokerage firm specified.

“However, note that the Top Frontier shares cannot be monetized until they are listed, eventually converted by SMC into SMC shares or acquired by the remaining shareholders of Top Frontier [Roberto Ongpin, Inigo Zobel and Joselito Campos],” it added.

Top Frontier is the single largest shareholder in the conglomerate with a 39.16-percent stake, while SMC owns 49 percent of Top Frontier.

Should the listing push through, Top Frontier will be the second company to list by way of introduction or without public offering this year, next to Del Monte Pacific Ltd.

Madelaine B. Miraflor


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