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Manila Water discloses more details of Razon entry

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MANILA WATER Co., Inc. has bared the details of Enrique K. Razon, Jr.’s P10.7-billion investment in the firm, which is still subject to compliance with regulatory requirements.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, Manila Water said Mr. Razon’s Prime Metroline Holdings, Inc. will own 28% in the firm once it completes its acquisition of 820 million shares priced P13 each.

This would reduce Ayala Corp. (AC)’s ownership in Manila Water to 30% from 41% with 866.95 million shares, and the public ownership to 41% from 58% with 1.2 billion shares.

Foreign ownership of Manila Water would also shrink to 9.18% from 10.41% after the acquisition.

In the subscription agreement disclosed yesterday, Manila Water said the 820 million common shares of stock that Prime Metroline will be subscribing to represent 24.96% of the economic rights in Manila Water and 11.91% of its total number of outstanding shares.

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Last month, AC announced the investment of Mr. Razon in Manila Water through a company he is yet to incorporate: Trident Water. In the meantime, his infrastructure company Prime Metroline will be the vehicle for the transaction.

The deal is subject to several conditions, such as the approval of at least two-thirds of its stockholders, approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission and clearance from the Philippine Competition Commission.

“The transaction is expected to bolster [Manila Water’s] ability to provide reliable, efficient and sustainable water and wastewater services in the East Zone and at the same time pursue growth initiatives both domestically and globally,” the company said.

“The Razon group brings with it its expansive global reach and business expertise; with operations in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa” to Manila Water, it added.

Manila Water said the P13 per share subscription price is above the P10 minimum price of its shares. It is also higher than the 30-day volume weighted average per share of P8.95, the 60-day average of P9.38 per share, 90-day average of P9.77 per share and 1-year average of P12.03 per share.

It said the detailed work program and timetable of disbursements would be finalized by Manila Water before the financial closing of the subscription agreement.

Shares in Manila Water closed P11.94 each on Tuesday, down six centavos or 0.50%. — Denise A. Valdez

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