PSE says no final decision on LANDBANK’s offer

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THE Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) said on Monday that it had yet make a final decision on the offer by the government’s Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK).

“The Company has not made a final decision on the offer of [the bank],” the bourse operator said.

“Management was tasked to further study matters related to the offer. The Company will be guided by the timelines indicated in the offer by (LANDBANK) and make the appropriate communications at the appropriate time,” it added.

The PSE was reacting to news that it had rejected the LANDBANK’s offer to buy the bourse’s stake in the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDSHC) because the offer price was too low.

The clarification comes three days before the deadline set by the state bank for the PSE to make a decision.

On Monday, shares in PSE traded higher by 0.81% to close at P186 each.

On Jan. 16, the PSE disclosed that it had received a letter from the state-led bank expressing an interest to buy the company’s shares in PDSHC for close to P282 million.

The LANDBANK’s offer placed the value of the holding firm’s shares at P215 each or for a total of P281,959,385 “subject to terms and conditions.” The offer is valid until Jan. 31, 2019.

PSE referred to its previous disclosure dated April 27, 2018, during which the bank made a similar offer to buy the holding firm’s shares.

However, the previous offer valued the shares at P360 apiece for a total consideration of P472,118,040. The latest offer thus values PDSHC at a price lower by about 40.3%.

PDSHC comprises the PDS Group along with subsidiaries Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp., Philippine Depository & Trust Corp., Philippine Securities Settlement Corp., and PDS Academy for Market Development Corp.

Based on the shareholder structure found in its website, the firm is 21% owned by the PSE. The biggest shareholder group, with a 28.9% stake, is made up of members of the Bankers Association of the Philippines and institutions. — Victor V. Saulon