FIRST Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) has divested a quarter of its stake in MHE-Demag (P), Inc. to its co-shareholder in Singapore.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, the Lopez-led company said it raised P85 million from selling 175,000 shares in its operations of the materials handling equipment manufacturer to MHE-Demag (S) Pte. Ltd.

The shares were priced at P485.71 each and is equivalent to 25% of FPH’s stake in MHE-Demag (P).

It did not disclose the reason for the transaction, but noted it “does not foresee a material effect on its business with the disposition (of shares).”

The deal will be paid in cash and will close once the Deed of Assignment of Shares is completed.

On its website, MHE-Demag is described as an international joint venture of Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) Pte. Ltd. and Demag Cranes and Components GmbH and is based in Singapore. It is known for manufacturing and distributing industrial cranes and hoists, warehousing equipment, compact construction equipment and automated car parking systems.

It has presence across Asia Pacific, specifically in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the Philippines, MHE-Demag operates under the manufacturing business unit of FPH through First PV Ventures Corp.

FPH is also involved in power generation through First Gen Corp.; power distribution through Panay Electric Co. and a minority stake in Manila Electric Co.; property through Rockwell Land Corp. and First Philippine Industrial Park, Inc.; and other ventures such as First Balfour, Inc. and First Philippine Properties Corp.

In the nine months to September, FPH posted an attributable net income of P9.6 billion to rise 35% from last year, driven by favorable foreign exchange rates and deferred income tax movements.

Shares in FPH at the stock exchange inched up 0.05 point or 0.07% to P76 each on Tuesday. — Denise A. Valdez