P64.5-B investment in energy sector ‘vote of confidence’ in PH economy ? DOF
The P64.5 billion deal between the Philippines’ Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and a consortium of foreign investors led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) is a “strong vote of confidence” in the investment-led and inclusive growth strategy undertaken by the government on the Duterte watch, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.
Dominguez said that more than being good for the economy, this long term investment on the country’s energy sector is also “good for the environment” as it would help build the country’s renewable energy base.
The transaction involves a voluntary tender offer by the Philippines Renewable Energy Holdings Corp. (PREHC) to acquire almost a third of EDC or 6.6 billion EDC common shares at P7.25 per share, representing a 21.8 percent premium over the last closing price of P5.95 per share before the offer was made.
“This deal represents the largest voluntary tender offer in our country’s financial history. It is a strong vote of confidence in the direction the Philippine economy is taking,” Dominguez said at this week’s celebration at the Rockwell Center in Makati City marking the closing of the agreement between PREHC and EDC.
PREHC is owned by a consortium of investors with funds managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), the world’s largest infrastructure assets manager, and Arran Investment Pte. Ltd., which is an affiliate of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC.
This consortium owns and operates a combined installed capacity of over 11 gigawatts in renewable energy assets worldwide.
“The conclusion of this tender offer reinforces our policy of building up our renewable energy base. That is good for the environment and good for the economy. The deal underscores the quality of Filipino firms as well as the reliability of our financial and business policies,” Dominguez said.
Under the implementation agreement, First Gen Corporation, holding a majority of the shares, will continue to manage the EDC.
Dominguez pointed out that under the agreement, the EDC will “benefit immensely from the global know-how of the PREHC along with the financial muscle of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).”
“I am sure the EDC will continue investing to enlarge the 1.4 GW renewable energy capacity in its portfolio,” he said.
“I congratulate the parties to this deal who worked efficiently in bringing this tender offer to fruition. I look forward to more deals like this one that will help capitalize our economy and modernize our corporate sector,” Dominguez said.
“We are firm in our determination to build a more inclusive economy for our people. This deal is an affirmation of our encompassing economic strategy,” he added.
He assured investors of a “consistently pro-business policy environment” on the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We are determined to bring to par the nation’s infrastructure backbone, especially in ensuring the robust generating capacity that will support a high growth we pursue,” Dominguez said.
“We encourage our companies to go by the benchmarks of best practices in corporate governance in the world. We continue to improve the ease of doing business in the country,” he added.
Dominguez said on this aspect, which mostly involves cutting red tape, the DOF found “that this is a big struggle.”
“As one of my undersecretaries would tell you. He’s the most experienced undersecretary I have, his name is Gil Beltran. He is having a lot of problems hacking into red tape, but we’re getting there,” Dominguez said. DMS