• Phinma consolidates education business

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    DIVERSIFIED conglomerate Phinma Corp. is consolidating all of its education-related shares and assets to its education holding firm Phinma Education Holdings Inc.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Phinma said it is transferring its stakes in the four colleges it held to Phinma Education.

    The education-related interests sold to Phinma Education were: a 78.64 percent stake in Pamantasan ng Araullo (Araullo University) Inc. for P300 million; a 74.21 percent interests in Cagayan de Oro College Inc. for P265 million; a 69.75 percent shareholdings in University of Pangasinan Inc. for P579.54 million; and a 69.79 percent stake in University of Iloilo for P468.89 million.

    The transaction involved a total of 43.25 million shares, for which Phinma Education paid P1.6 billion in cash. The acquisition was completed on Tuesday.

    “Phinma Education, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phinma, will be the holding company for Phinma’s investments in education and will be the vehicle for raising funds in the future,” Phinma said.

    Aside from Phinma’s stake in the four colleges, the company also announced the transfer of its shareholdings in Southwestern University (SWU) to Phinma Education last month.

    Phinma will complete the sale of a 67.45 percent majority controlling interest in SWU to Phinma Education for P2.54 billion by the end of December.

    The reorganization of education assets is part of the group’s aim to ramp up its education business and to eventually list on the PSE by 2017 at the earliest.

    But before conducting its planned initial public offering (IPO) in the next two years, the group also plans to set up two to three colleges all over Southeast Asia – most likely in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Indonesia — to take advantage of the opportunities in the region.

    Phinma’s net income in the first nine months of 2015 jumped by 64 percent to P287.4 million from P175.1 million a year ago on the strong performance of its education subsidiary. Revenue in the same period increased 4 percent to P4.2 billion from P4 billion a year ago.

    Incorporated in 1957, Phinma is a holding firm chaired by Oscar J. Hilado, who also chairs petroleum exploration firm Trans-Asia Oil.

    Phinma holds businesses in various segments including the manufacture of galvanized and pre-painted iron sheets (Union Galvasteel Corp.); business process outsourcing for animation services, education (Phinma Education), real estate development and real property investment (Phinma Property Holdings Inc.), among others.

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