MERALCO PowerGen Corp. (MGen) has gained control over a solar energy company in Bulacan by acquiring its co-owner’s shares for P158.95 million, its parent firm Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) told the local bourse on Thursday.

In a regulatory filing, power distributor Meralco said MGen unit MGen Renewable Energy, Inc (MGreen) increased its equity in PowerSource First Bulacan Solar, Inc. (PFBSI) by 20% with the purchase of 315,839 shares from Sunseap Philippines Solar Holdings Pte. Ltd.

The acquisition raised MGreen’s ownership in the Bulacan firm to 60%.

“Nature and amount of consideration given or received (is at) P158,950,300,” Meralco said, referring to the amount its unit paid for the additional shares.

Previously, MGreen owned 40% of the solar company, Sunseap held 24%, with Powersource Energy Holdings Corp. owning 36%.

Meralco said the acquisition is in line with MGen’s goal to “diversify and increase investment in the renewable energy sector.”

“The acquisition increases the attributable and net sellable capacity of MGreen, which is in line with [MGen’s] goal of building a portfolio of 1,000 MW (megawatts) renewable energy projects in the next 5 to 7 years,” it said.

PFBSI is constructing a 50-MW utility-scale solar facility, which is expected to begin commercial operations in the first quarter this year.

The deal comes after Meralco announced last month that its unit MGen would fully own Global Business Power Corp. (GBP) after signing a deal with the latter’s two main stakeholders to transfer their shares for around P34.47 billion.

On Dec. 28, the local bourse suspended the trading of Meralco’s securities as the distribution utility had yet to submit the requirements for its substantial acquisition of GBP.

Open-end investment company First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund, Inc. (FMETF) previously said that the lifting of the suspension would be announced at a later date.

On Thursday, shares in Meralco on Thursday inched down by 0.67% to close at P297 apiece.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., which has interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Angelica Y. Yang