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Ayala unit sells Manila Water shares to Razon

A SUBSIDIARY of Ayala Corp. has agreed to sell its preferred shares in Manila Water Co., Inc. to Trident Water Co. Holdings, Inc. as control over the water concessionaire continues to shift.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, Ayala Corp. said its wholly owned unit Philwater Holdings Co., Inc. executed a share purchase agreement on Feb. 15, which sold 2.69 billion of its preferred shares in Manila Water to Trident Water owned by Enrique K. Razon, Jr.

The company said the preferred shares are equivalent to a 39.09% voting stake and 8.19% economic stake in Manila Water.

According to the disclosure, the purchase price of the preferred shares was at P1.80 per share, equivalent to a total of P4.84 billion.

“The payment terms are as follows: P100 million payable on or before three business days from signing; P2.37 billion payable on or before 4 years from the execution of the share purchase agreement; and the remaining balance of P2.37 billion payable on or before 5 years from the execution of the share purchase agreement,” the disclosure said.

Ayala Corp. said the rights and title to the shares, excluding voting rights covered by the proxies, which are to be executed upon the execution of the shareholders’ agreement, will not be transferred until all payments are finished.

“Dividends earned by the preferred shares shall continue to be for the account of Philwater until full payment has been made,” the disclosure said.

In February last year, Mr. Razon bought a 25% stake in Manila Water in a deal amounting to P10.7 billion. The transaction also signified that Trident Water had 51% of the voting rights in Manila Water.

On Tuesday, Ayala Corp. shares at the stock exchange rose 1.34% or P10.50 to finish at P793 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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