ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) will be issuing P5 billion worth of bonds within the first half of this year for debt refinancing.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the listed conglomerate said it has filed the registration statement for the first tranche of the P30-billion bonds under its debt securities program.

The first tranche will consist of P3 billion with an oversubscription option of up to P2 billion. Upon issuance, the bonds will be listed at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

“Proceeds from the first tranche of the Bonds will be used as part of the refinancing plan of the medium-term loan of AEV International Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of AEV,” the company said.

AEV International had earlier acquired a loan worth $338 million to finance the acquisition of a 75% equity interest in Gold Coin Management Holdings Ltd. by another AEV subsidiary, Pilmico International Pte. Ltd.

Pilmico International acquired a majority stake in Singapore-based Gold Coin last year, tightening its grip on one of Asia’s largest privately owned agribusiness corporations. It currently operates 20 livestock and aqua feed mills across 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

AEV said it will invest up to $200 million in the next two to three years to further expand Gold Coin’s factories in the region.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. were tapped to act as the offering’s joint issue managers, joint bookrunners, and joint lead underwriters.

AEV Chief Finance Officer Manuel R. Lozano earlier said that they may issue P10 billion worth of bonds every year, since the shelf registration lasts for three years.

AEV plans to spend P81 billion in capital expenditures this year, 65% higher than its actual spending of P49 billion in 2018. About 63% of this budget will go to power projects, while 37% will be for non-power items.

The company is currently constructing the P12.6-billion Apo Agua bulk water project in Davao City. The project will have the capacity to process 347 million liters of water per day, making it the largest bulk water project in the country. It also comes with a 2.5-megawatt hyroelectric power plant to support its operations.

AEV looks to start operations for the bulk water facility by 2021.

AEV’s net income grew by three percent to P22 billion in 2018, following a 24% increase in revenues to P187 billion.

Shares in AEV jumped 1.44% or 85 centavos to close at P59.80 each at the stock exchange on Monday. — Arra B. Francia