Corporate News

PSE sticks to timetable for PDS buyout

Posted on March 25, 2015

PHILIPPINE Stock Exchange (PSE) President and Chief Executive Officer Hans B. Sicat said the local bourse is sticking to its timetable of making a final offer to buy out the shareholders of Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDS) before it holds an annual stockholders’ meeting in May.

The PSE’s annual meeting is on May 2, at which time the deal with PDS will be subjected to PSE shareholders’ approval.

“We need to get our shareholders’ approval by May 2. That’s the timeline,” Mr. Sicat said on the sidelines of an investment forum by Euromoney in Makati City yesterday.

Mr. Sicat said there will be “slight adjustments” in the P2.25-billion valuation of PDS -- the operator of the country’s fixed income bourse -- but did not disclose further information.

Asked about the progress of talks for the potential sale of the PDS stake held by the Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX), he replied: “I guess we just have to give them the final [term sheet]… We talk to them all the time.”

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) owns 28.9% of PDS.

PSE holds a 21% stake, and the SGX, 20%.

Other stockholders are Computershare Technology Services (8%); Tata Consultancy Services Asia (8%); The Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co. (4%); San Miguel Corp. (4%); Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines (3.1%); Social Security System (1.5%); Investment House Association of the Philippines (1.1%); and Golden Astra Capital (0.4%).

In November last year, PSE agreed with San Miguel and Golden Astra on the sale of their shares in PDS. Mr. Sicat had also said earlier this month that other minority stockholders are inquiring about the final term sheet, and all shareholders will be given “about a month to accept” the offer once received.

PSE and PDS began negotiations for a possible merger back in May 2013, with completion originally targeted by end-2013. PSE had initially said it was open to just operating PDS as a subsidiary, but the possibility of an SGX stake sale boosts merger prospects.

This development comes as the country charts its moves to join a cross-border trading platform linking Southeast Asia’s stock markets. -- Daphne J. Magturo