MEGAWIDE Construction Corp. plans to file before an arbitration panel its objection to what it called “permissive” counterclaim from ACI, Inc. amounting to almost P1.53 billion.

“Megawide intends to file, within the allowed period, an opposition or objection to ACI’s permissive counterclaims for due consideration of the CIAC (Construction Industry Arbitration Commission) Arbitration panel,” the company said in a disclosure on Tuesday.

On Jan. 10, Megawide filed a complaint against ACI before the CIAC involving a contract for the design and construction of the Araneta Cyberpark Tower 2.

Megawide’s aggregate claim against ACI amounted to P339.65 million, to which the ACI filed a counterclaim amounting to P1.53 billion.

The counterclaim was founded on alleged violations of a construction contract worth P4.25 billion for the construction of Gateway Mall and Ibis Hotel in Quezon City. ACI is formerly Araneta Center, Inc.

In an unrelated ruling, the Supreme Court said a permissive counterclaim “does not arise out of or is not necessarily connected with the subject matter of the opposing party’s claim.”

It added that a permissive counterclaim is an independent claim that may be filed separately in another case.

Meanwhile, Megawide announced that it had successfully listed its Series 5 preferred shares worth P1.5 billion, which were fully subscribed.

“The warm reception for our latest fund raising also reflects the investment community’s continued confidence in Megawide’s prospects,” Megawide President and Chief Executive Officer Edgar B. Saavedra said in a press release.

The shares, which carried an initial dividend rate of 7.9% per annum, were offered to the public from March 28 to April 4.

Proceeds from the offer will be used to refinance the maturing P2.6 billion Series 2A preferred shares of the company in May, while the balance will be internally funded.

“The Series 5 preferred share issuance is part of Megawide’s comprehensive long-term financial management program, which aims to strengthen the balance sheet and develop a more efficient capital structure,” the company said.

On Tuesday, shares in Megawide climbed by a centavo or 0.34% to P2.99 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile