• SMC unloads part of stake in Meralco

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    Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has formalized its plan to unload some of its stake in the country’s largest power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), officially selling part of it on Friday.

    SMC, a group chaired by Eduardo Cojuangco, announced through a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange the sale of 64.33 million Meralco common shares at P270 each share, for total gross proceeds of P17.37 billion. The buyer of the transaction was not disclosed.

    The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, was structured as a placing of shares in the share capital of Meralco. An application for the block sale of the shares was filed with the local bourse also on Friday.

    Deutsche Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch and Standard Chartered Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. were the placing agents for the transaction.

    SMC earlier disclosed to the exchange that the company and its subsidiaries are considering alternatives related to the possible disposition of its approximately 32.8-percent stake in Meralco.

    This, according to SMC, will be through a strategic sale or a capital markets transaction to parties who have expressed an interest in purchasing it.

    In June, it was reported that the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Group was looking to acquire additional stake in Meralco.

    PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan previously told reporters that the company is “prepared to assist” should diversified conglomerate SMC decided to divest some or all of its interests in Meralco.

    The PLDT Group owns a strategic stake in Meralco through PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures Inc., which together with Metro Pacific Investments Corp., co-own Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc. Beacon remains the largest shareholder of Meralco with a 48-percent equity.

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