IFC to invest P650M in Discovery World

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IFC's Vivek Pathak says this new development "will help reduce low and middle-income households’ reliance on out-of-pocket payments to fund healthcare expenses."

THE International Finance Corp. (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank, is investing in Discovery World Corp. (DWC), a property firm developing two new hotels in Palawan and Benguet.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, Discovery World said it signed a subscription agreement with IFC allowing the latter to infuse as much as P650 million into the property firm, “to meet the growing demand for hospitality infrastructure in the Philippines.”

Under the deal, IFC will subscribe to up to 216.67 million preferred shares in Discovery World, priced at P3 apiece.

“Please note the DWC has not issued any preferred shares. The subscription of IFC shall be conditioned on the approval by the stockholders of DWC and, thereafter, the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission, of DWC’s amended Articles of Incorporation on the reclassification of part of its present unissued common shares to preferred shares,” the company said.

Discovery World said the issuance of common shares to IFC as a result of its conversion of preferred shares will not lead to foreign shareholdings exceeding 40% of its outstanding capital stock.

The leisure properties developer will be using the funds raised from the transaction to finance two hotels, one in El Nido, Palawan and another in La Trinidad, Benguet.

“These projects will expand DWC’s portfolio that includes Discovery Shores Boracay, a multi-awarded luxury resort, and Club Paradise Palawan, an exclusive island resort in Coron,” Discovery World said in the disclosure. 

Aside from these properties, DWC also owns Discovery Fleet, a cruise boats operator for scuba safari expeditions in various diving sites.

IFC is a global development institution that is a member of the World Bank Group. The company makes use of its financial resources and technical expertise to support business worldwide. IFC has already supplied $351 billion in loans to small and medium enterprises by 2016, according to its Web site.

Shares in DWC jumped 26.87% or 54 centavos to end Tuesday’s trading at P2.55 each. — Arra B. Francia