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AC Energy to take majority stake in Solar Philippines unit

Ayala-led AC Energy Corp. is set to own the majority stake in a solar farm subsidiary of Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc. after forging a deal to acquire 99% of the unit’s primary and secondary shares for P619,000, the listed firm told the local bourse on Monday.

The transaction will give AC Energy the chance to earn a stable dividend income from the operations of the solar power project under Solar Philippines Central Luzon Corp. (SPCLC), one of the special purpose vehicles under the holding firm founded by Leandro L. Leviste.

In a regulatory filing on Monday, AC Energy said that it signed a subscription agreement with Mr. Leviste’s holding firm to SPCLC’s common shares for P375,000. The shares are to be issued out its unissued authorized capital stock.

AC Energy said that it had also inked a deed of absolute sale of shares to buy SPCLC’s secondary common shares for P244,000. SPCLC is a special purpose vehicle for the development and operation of projects that harness the sun’s power.

“The acquisition and subscription will allow ACEN (AC Energy’s stock symbol) to have a significant ownership interest in SPCLC and is meant to implement the joint venture between ACEN and SP (Solar Philippines) for the development of solar power projects in the Philippines,” the firm said.

In a separate filing on Monday, AC Energy announced that it had greenlit a proposed joint venture with Solar Philippines for the development and construction of solar projects, the subscription to SPCLC’s primary shares; and the granting of authority to SPCLC to participate in biddings for power supply.

The Ayala firm added that it had signed preliminary binding agreements with Solar Philippines and its affiliate Provincia Investments Corp. for potential joint ventures in developing solar power projects in the Philippines.

AC Energy said it had also allowed to share credit facilities with its wholly owned unit, Santa Cruz Solar Energy, Inc., to participate in electricity supply biddings.

Early this month, Ayala Corp. said that an affiliate of Singapore-based GIC Pte. Ltd. would acquire 17.5% ownership stake in AC Energy for P20 billion. In a previous press release, the listed conglomerate said that its energy arm and the latter’s parent firm AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp. (ACEIC) signed the deal with the GIC affiliate Arran Investment on Dec. 30.

The move is one of the five steps in the AC Energy’s corporate restructuring, according to its President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia during a media briefing in November. The other steps are: a stock rights offering scheduled in the first quarter this year; GIC’s private placement of 4 billion shares by the end of the second quarter; a follow-on public offering at the local bourse; and the infusion of the international energy assets and the sale of secondary shares to GIC from ACEIC.

Shares in AC Energy shed 0.14% to close at P6.79 apiece on Monday. — Angelica Y. Yang

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