Business

EKR’s P10.7B buy-in will reduce Manila Water’s public float by nearly a third

Bilyonaryo Ricky Razon’s P10.7 billion investment in the Ayala-run Manila Water will shrink the firm’s public float by nearly a third.

In a disclosure, Manila Water said its public float would drop from 55.89 percent to 40 percent following the purchase of 820 million common shares at P13 per share by Prime Metroline Holdings, the Razon group’s infrastructure and utility arm. Foreign ownership will also go down slightly from 10.42 percent to 9.18 percent after Razon’s entry.

Razon’s economic interest in Manila Water will be pegged at P820 million or 25 percent, slightly below Ayala Corp.’s P867 million or 26.4 percent of the utility firm’s total subscribed capital of P3.285 billion.

Razon’s voting interest has been initially set at 11.91 percent with Ayala-subsidiary at 58.1 percent (down from 65.95 percent), Ayala Corp. at 12.59 percent (down from 14.29 percent), and public at 16.76 percent (down from 19.03 percent).

Razon is expected to have 51 percent voting interest in Manila Water after Ayala’s executive committee agreed to give the ports and casino tycoon proxy rights held by Philwater.

Manila Water is stoked by Razon’s entry.

“The transaction is expected to bolster Manila Water’s ability to provide reliable, efficient and sustainable water and wastewater services in the East Zone and at the same time pursue growth initiatives both domestically and globally. The Razon group brings with it its expansive global reach and business expertise; with operations in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, to Manila Water,” the company said.

“The placement brings P10.7 Billion in additional equity capital for Manila Water and is expected to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and allow it to be more agile to pursue its long-term strategic initiatives,” it added.

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