By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) has increased its stake in the Philippine Dealing Systems Holdings Corp. (PDSHC), after buying the shares held by San Miguel Corp. (SMC) for P80 million.

In a disclosure posted Monday, the local bourse said it has signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) with SMC for the acquisition of 250,000 common shares in PDSHC, which translates to 4% of the company’s total issued and outstanding stock.

The transaction will bring PSE’s total stake in the PDS to 61.03%, upon securing the approval of regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

The PSE will be paying P73.5 million at the closing of the deal, while the remaining P6.5 million will be held in escrow. The acquisition price is based on PDS’ total equity value of P2 billion, or P320 for each share.

This marks the PSE’s sixth SPA with former PDS shareholders. The PSE had earlier inked agreements with the Bankers Association of the Philippines, Whistler Technologies Services, Inc., Investment House Association of the Philippines, The Philippine American Life and General Insurance, Co., and Finex Research and Development Foundation, Inc.

Other shareholders in the PDS include the Development Bank of the Philippines with 1.54%, the Social Security System with 1.54%, and the Investment House Association of the Philippines with 1.12%.

The transaction also forms part of efforts to increase PSE’s stake in the fixed income bourse in preparation for the pending merger of the two markets.

“From a corporate standpoint, maintaining the business operations of both the PSE and PDSHC while reducing operational costs through synergies can result in greater business scalability and profitability. As the two companies have highly similar and integrated functions, there should be synergies that could be realized particularly from an infrastructure standpoint, particularly on the technology side,” the PSE said.

The PSE is looking to conclude its merger with the PDS in the coming months, as it has already secured clearance from the PCC to proceed with the transaction. It is now working on bringing down broker ownership to be granted exemptive relief from the SEC.

PSE’s attributable profit jumped 54% to P514 million in the first three quarters of 2017, following an 8% rise in revenues to P953 million during the period.

Shares in PSE were up P3 or 1.25% to end at P243 each on Monday.