Gokongweis’ JG Summit cuts Meralco stake, raises P12.4B

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Gokongwei-led conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc. sold about 10.8 percent of its shares in electricity distribution giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), raising P12.38 billion via a private share sale.

JG Summit said in a stock exchange filing 36 million shares of Meralco were sold at P344 each, with UBS AG Singapore Branch acting as sole agent. The shares will be transferred on July 29, subject to the approval of the Philippine Stock Exchange.

There were no immediate details on the buyers of the shares. Sought for comment, JG Summit head of strategic investment Bach Johann “BJ” Sebastian said the rationale behind the sale was “financial conservatism and balance sheet management.” He said the company was also selling its Meralco shares at a “good price.” 

JG Summit is paring its Meralco stake to 297.2 million shares, valued at about P100.9 billion on current market prices. 

JG Summit is Meralco’s second-biggest shareholder after Manuel V. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. 

The Gokongwei conglomerate, whose assets span food and beverage, airlines and property development, first invested in Meralco in 2013, when it acquired a 27.1 percent stake from San Miguel Corp. and its affiliates for P72 billion. 

Meralco shares fell 7.2 percent to P339.6 per share before noon while JG Summit shed 3.36 percent to P53.15, contributing to the 1.32 percent decline at the Philippine Stock Exchange Index.

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