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Lopez Holdings cancels voluntary delisting plan

LOPEZ HOLDINGS Corp. withdrew its petition to voluntarily delist from the local market after First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) amended its tender offer on Wednesday.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, Lopes Holdings said the petition to voluntarily delist was “conditional” and could only continue if FPH acquired 45.56% of the company’s total issued and outstanding common shares.

Lopez Holdings added that it recently disclosed the possibility of being involuntarily delisted if the minimum public ownership (MPO) drops below 10%, which is “conditional” on FPH acquiring a certain number of shares.

“The amendment of the tender offer means there is no longer such a risk and Lopez Holdings can remain listed even if FPH acquires the new maximum of 34.5%,” Lopez Holdings President Salvador G. Tirona was quoted as saying.

On Jan. 20, FPH changed its tender offer report to cover only up to a maximum of 34.5% or 1.57 billion common shares of the total issued and outstanding common shares of Lopez Holdings.

This is lower than FPH’s previous offer to acquire up to a maximum of 45.56% or 2.07 billion common shares, and a minimum of 20% or 908.46 million common shares of the total issued and outstanding common shares of Lopez Holdings, priced at P3.85 per common share.

“The amendment removes the risk of Lopez Holdings falling below the MPO required by the PSE and dispenses with the need for the company to pursue a petition for voluntary delisting,” the disclosure said.

The tender offer does not include the shares owned by Lopez, Inc. which has decided not to tender its shares.

FPH disclosed that it would also acquire shares of Lopez Holdings from the non-public shareholders, and estimated that 33.65% will come from the public.

“Deducting this figure from the present public float of 43.805%, this should leave Lopez Holdings with a minimum public ownership of at least 10.15%, assuming that the maximum limit is reached,” the disclosure said.

The company filed its petition to voluntarily delist 4.63 billion common shares from the main board of the PSE in December last year.

Lopez Holdings is the Lopez family’s holding firm for investments in major development sectors such as broadcasting and cable. FPH is the parent company of the family’s energy investments.

On Thursday, shares in Lopez Holdings at the stock exchange fell 0.27% or one centavo to end at P3.69 apiece, while FPH stocks were flat at P79.50 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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