Phinma buys into Cebu’s Southwestern University

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Phinma Corp, a holding firm owned by Oscar Hilado, has acquired a 56.83 percent stake in Southwestern University in Cebu City for P1.9 billion.

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Phinma said in a disclosure to the stock exchange, it purchased 17,201 shares of SWU at P110,458 per share, which included properties such as the Sacred Heart Hospital and 240 hectares of land in Cebu.

“With the addition of SWU, the enrollment of Phinma Education’s schools will grow by 10, 000 students to 47,000 students and will consequently increase revenues and bottom line,” the company said.

“The Cebu location likewise gives Phinma presence in one of the country’s major education centers, expanding its physical reach and influence. The investment also represents Phinma’s entry into the mid-income education market,” it said.

The company has paid more than two-thirds of the P1.9 billion upfront. The balance will be settled on April 23 and upon submission of required deliverables.

To fund the SWU transaction, Phinma will source the amount to a planned loan of up to P1.5 billion and the rest to internally generated funds.

Phinma said the company is looking at “upgrading of the facilities and laboratories, improving operational efficiencies, as well as marketing the school.”

“Phinma will also push SWU to move aggressively on the senior high school market, an opportunity arising from the Department of Education’s K to 12 initiative,” the company said.

“The investment of Phinma in SWU will strengthen its position in the education industry. SWU is a strong education brand in the Visayas and Mindanao with a long tradition of excellence particularly in medicine and the allied health sciences.
Phinma will build on this tradition of the Aznar family, SWU’s founders, and will expand the university’s reach and reputation,” it said.

Incorporated in 1951, SWU is an educational institution founded by the Aznar family, which is under the control and supervision of the Commission on Higher Education. Aside from the schools network, SWU also operates the Sacred Heart Hospital.

Incorporated in 1957, Phinma is a holding firm owned and led by Oscar J. Hilado, who also chairs Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.

Hilado’s businesses include manufacturing of galvanized and pre-painted iron sheets (Union Galvasteel Corp.); business process outsourcing for animation services, education (Phinma Education Network), real estate development and real property investment (Phinma Property Holdings Inc.).

Under its education unit, Phinma operates four schools: Pamantasan ng Araullo (Araullo University) Inc., Cagayan de Oro College Inc., University of Pangasinan, and University     of Iloilo.

Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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