By Chino S. Leyco
State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) said that the end-January deadline for Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp. (PDSHC) shareholders to sell their stake is the last and final extension.
Alex V. Buenaventura, LandBank president and chief executive officer, said that the offer price of P215 per share is final and only valid until January 31, 2019.
Last week, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), which owns 20 percent of PDSHC, disclosed that LandBank lowered its offer price from P360 per share the government lender gave in April 2018.
According to Buenaventura, LandBank needed to lower its offer after PDSHC gave out P600 million in dividends in June last year, which effectively reduced the fixed-income exchange’s net asset value to only P980.61 million.
But despite cheaper offer price, the LandBank chief is confident that PDSHC shareholders will sell their stake to the government.
“We’re very confident because from their reaction, about 43 percent [of the shareholders] responded positive,” Buenaventura told reporters. “We will work from there, and we hope to get the majority.”
LandBank plans to buy at least 66.67 percent of PDSHC.
“I would say we are equally confident because we don’t see any reason why shareholders who expressed acceptance before would find this a lousy offer because we maintained the same premium,” Buenaventura said.
During the first offer, the LandBank chief said that around 43 percent of PDS’ existing shareholders, including the PSE, already expressed willingness to sell shares to the government lender.
LandBank sought to take over the bond exchange operator after continued delays in the planned merger of PDS Holdings with the PSE that began in 2013.
In April, the PSE abandoned its plan to take control of the country’s fixed-income exchange after its timetable to close purchase agreements with key PDS shareholders lapsed last March 31.
LandBank made an initial offer in April to all shareholders of PDS to buy 4.167 million common shares in the bond exchange — equivalent to a 66.67 percent stake — worth P1.5 billion. The offer period lapsed last May 20.