KKR unit completes First Gen share purchase

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A SINGAPORE-BASED holding company of New York-listed KKR & Co., Inc. has completed its share purchase at Lopez-led First Gen Corp., receiving acceptances higher than targeted.

On Monday, the global investment firm said Valorous Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd., a unit of KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Holdings Pte. Ltd., has accepted tendered shares of 427,041,291, representing 11.9% of the Philippine energy firm’s outstanding common shares for its P9.6-billion tender offer.

The acceptances were higher compared to its target 6%-9% of First Gen common shares.

Federico R. Lopez, First Gen’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the company felt “quite honored” of KKR’s confidence in the company.

“It’s especially exciting given the accelerating transition we all need to make toward a decarbonized future and we look forward to engaging with a world-class global investor, such as KKR, as we navigate the journey ahead as partners,” he added.

KKR’s Asia Pacific Infrastructure Partner and Head David Luboff shared the same excitement, saying his group was “pleased to have this opportunity to be an investor in First Gen able to positively engage with the company’s management team and the Lopez family as helpful in the future.”

Valorous’s voluntary tender offer of P22.50 per share, which ended on June 24, was first publicized on May 26. The holding firm will pay the shareholders on July 1.

It has said the all-cash bid can bring immediate return on shareholders’ investments at an “attractive” premium.

KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure is owned by KKR Asia Pacific Infrastructure Investors SCSp based in Luxembourg. The latter is managed and advised by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., a unit of New York-listed investment firm KKR & Co., Inc.

First Gen is the third Philippine company in which KKR is actively investing. It has provided capital for Metro Pacific Hospitals, the hospital arm of listed Metro Pacific Investment Corp., as well as Voyager Innovations, Inc., a unit of PLDT, Inc.

“We continue to look for new opportunities to support the country’s growth trajectory, its leading companies, and its families through our infrastructure, private equity, real estate and credit investing businesses,” KKR’s Asia Pacific Infrastructure Team Managing Director Michael M. de Guzman said.

KKR’s investment in the Philippines now stood at over $1 billion, it noted.

First Gen runs a portfolio of renewables and indigenous fuel energy generation facilities with a total of 3,492 megawatts in installed capacity. It is set to build one of the country’s first liquified natural gas import terminals in Batangas.

Shares in First Gen increased by 1.78% to close at P22.90 each on Monday. — Adam J. Ang