Posted on June 28, 2012 10:35:42 PM SM buy-in blocked by Ortigas Group
THE ORTIGAS family has acquired Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp.’s (HSBC) 34% stake in the clan’s property firm for some P11 billion, blocking the SM Group’s attempts to buy into one of the country’s oldest real estate companies. "The Ortigas Group exercised its right of first refusal as it bid for the shares held by HSBC ... OCLP Holdings (Ortigas & Co. Limited Partnership Holdings, Inc.) was able to match the earlier offer of the SM Group," company director Jaime M. Ortigas told BusinessWorld yesterday.
"HSBC was selling something worth like P11 billion for the entire 34% stake and the deal pushed through. Today was the deadline for the purchase payments," Mr. Ortigas added.
Corazon P. Guidote, senior vice-president for investment relations at SM Investment Corp. (SMIC), declined to comment. HSBC officials were not immediately available.
SMIC in February disclosed that it was in talks with OCLP Holdings, saying it was keen to tap into the Ortigas’ clan vast landholdings.
OCLP Holdings is the parent of Ortigas & Co., the firm behind the Greenhills, Valle Verde and Greenmeadows subdivisions, the Ortigas business center, as well as the Greenhills Shopping Center. It traces its roots to the 1920s when the Augustinians sold 4,033 hectares in what is mostly present-day Mandaluyong City to Frank W. Dudley and Francisco Ortigas.
"I guess they don’t want everything to [go to] SM," Joseph Y. Roxas, president of brokerage Eagle Equities, Inc., said when asked to comment on the deal.
Nevertheless, he said this shouldn’t significantly impact SM’s long-term strategy.
"I don’t think this will be a setback for them. They have a lot of investments elsewhere," Mr. Roxas said.
OCLP Holdings is unlikely to entertain any buy-ins soon, with Mr. Ortigas saying: "There are no immediate plans to sell any company stake to any party. We will just pursue our development projects on our own."
SM Investments were down by 0.82% to P722.00 each yesterday from P728.00 previously. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente