STONEBRIDGE Corp. has acquired a 9% stake in listed company Roxas and Co., Inc. (RCI) for P500 million.

Stonebridge bought 250 million treasury shares, equivalent to 9%, the listed company said in a stock exchange disclosure on Tuesday.

The shares were bought at P2 apiece and formed part of the 299.48 million treasury shares sold by RCI on May 3 as part of the company’s fundraising program.

Stonebridge is a company engaged in real estate management.

“The acquisition of the securities of RCI will allow Stonebridge to increase its presence in the real estate sector,” RCI said.

Stonebridge is chaired by Gizela “Ging” Madrigal Gonzalez-Montinola, the wife of former Bank of the Philippines President Chief Executive Officer Aurelio Luis “Gigi” R. Montinola III.  

Mr. Montinola also sits as independent director of RCI.

The move makes the Montinola family the third largest group of shareholders in RCI, after the founding Roxas-Elizalde families and Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. Founder Leandro Antonio L. Leviste.

“Stonebridge will seek the election of a nominee to RCI’s board of directors… Stonebridge has the sole power to vote and dispose of the 250 million common RCI shares,” RCI said.

RCI said in a separate disclosure that Solar Philippines’ Mr. Leviste has increased his stake in the company to 10%.

In March, Mr. Leviste bought a 7.55% stake in RCI following his previous move to invest P5 billion in Batangas province for various projects.

On Jan. 30, the Department of Agrarian Reform issued a certificate of finality to end almost 40 years of legal battles between RCI and the recognized and qualified farmer agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). RCI owns 2,941 hectares of land in Nasugbu, Batangas that were placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.

The order mandated the transfer of 2,941 hectares into one title and segregated them into two equal shares. The 50-50 sharing arrangement between RCI and the ARBs apportioned 1,322 hectares to each party.

As a result, RCI secured ownership rights totaling 1,619 hectares, consisting of 1,322 hectares for its 50% share and an additional 297 hectares for areas previously recovered due to cases already resolved in its favor.

RCI is the holding company of the Roxas Group. It has business interests in real estate through Roxaco Land Corp. and sugar milling through a minority interest in Roxas Holdings, Inc.

On Tuesday, RCI shares dropped by 2.13% or eight centavos to P3.67 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave