Eton Properties in disarray? Lucio Tan reportedly looking to sell prime lands or take in partner similar to Philip Morris JV
Bilyonaryo Lucio Tan is rumored to be looking for a buyer of his real estate development firm, Eton Properties, including his vast landholdings.
Two Bilyonaryo sources said Tan’s lieutenants have discretely sent out
feelers of his desire to either cash out on his property bets or take in a
big developer as major partner in Eton to form a joint venture similar to the set up between Tan’s Fortune Tobacco Corp. and Philip Morris Tobacco Co.
“I heard they are selling almost all of their properties,” according to a top executive of a major real estate company.
Another source from the Filipino-Chinese community said: “There have
been some strange things happening in Eton since December last year. Tan prefers Philip Morris style joint venture to take care of his properties.”
The Filipino-Chinese source said that with the 85-year old tycoon close to retirement, it was probably time to liquidate his non-core assets for his numerous heirs.
Tan’s first wife, Carmen Tan, has reportedly locked in control of Tan’s crown jewels, specifically Fortune, Philippine Airlines, Asia Brewery/Tanduay and Philippine National Bank.
On paper,Tan had the capital and the land bank to compete with the big boys but Eton’s condos and townships just never quite clicked with buyers, it couldn’t hang with the industry’s big boys like Ayala Land, Megaworld, SM Development Corp., Filinvest and Robinsons Land.
These rumors have come as a surprise to some considering that Tan just appointed his daughter, Karlu Tan-Say, as the company’s new chief operating officer in December 2019.
In a statement, Tan-Say said she wanted Eton to become the “most improved and most efficient real estate developer in the country.”
She said her top priorities n 2020 were to boost leasing revenue, increase land values of Eton City in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Eton Centris in Quezon City and convert land bank assets into cash flow.
Eton also reported rosy income figures as profits more than doubled to P629 million in the first nine months of 2019.