• Prime Orion planning Tutuban Bloc facelift

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    Prime Orion Philippines Inc. (POPI), the infrastructure arm of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), is set to redevelop the 20-hectare Tutuban bloc that would link major train lines in the north and south of Metro Manila, the company’s top official said Tuesday.

    For the project, POPI will use its P5.6 billion funds from ALI’s recent purchase of 51 percent stake in the company.

    “ALI’s payment starts after the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] approves the transaction as well as the increase in authorized capital stock,” explained POPI Chairman Felipe U. Yap during the firm’s annual stockholders meeting. “The proceeds will be able to finance (the Tutuban project) in two to three years. It will be more than sufficient to cover the Tutuban project.”

    During the meeting, the stockholders approved the increase in authorized capital stock to 7.5 billion to accomodate ALI’s subscription of 2.25 billion shares of stock, equivalent to 51.36 percent majority stake in POPI. The transaction was priced at P2.25 per share, amounting to P5.625 billion.

    The Tutuban bloc will be masterplanned by ALI, which will likely come out by mid-November, Yap told reporters after the meeting.

    He said the masterplan would include not just the previously announced Tutuban Center mall and the P117-billion main transfer station North South Railway Project (NSRP), but also residential and other commercial developments.

    “It’s a macro development, a master development,” Yap stressed with optimism. “Tutuban will be entirely changed into a station, where the south and the north lines will meet and coordinate. It will be the center of Manila, where everybody goes.”

    Yap added, the company’s annual income is expected to grow fast in the next few years, from the present P400 million income annually.

    “It will grow fast,” said Yap. “There will be optimum speculation that the market will be friendly to a new development starting from the bottom. That’s how we feel. The entry of Ayala [Group] is very positive to us.”

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