Emperador buys back more shares

Published January 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By James A. Loyola

Emperador, Inc., the liquor unit of tycoon Andrew Tan, has bought back ₱578 million worth of its shares from the market to bring down its public float to about 12.4 percent.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Emperador said the purchase was made by its British Virgin Islands subsidiary Emperador International Ltd. (EIL) which now has a total of 80.06 million Emperador shares equivalent to about 0.51 percent of the firm’s outstanding shares.

Emperador disclosed yesterday that EIL bought 1.04 million shares at ₱7.22 per share in January 16 and 79.01 million shares at ₱7.22 per share last January 15. These are separate from the shares bought directly by the Emperador.

All these shares were bought as part of the firm’s ₱3 billion buy-back program which started in May 2017 and has been extended up to May 2020.

As of yesterday, Emperador said it has spent ₱1.42 billion to buy back a total of 487.15 million of its shares since the start of the program.

“The block represents over half a percent of the company’s issued and outstanding shares which means the purchase has lowered its public float to 12.4 percent,” said Abacus Securities Corporation.

It noted that, “Management has previously told us that there is no intention to delist. However, the company still has close to ₱1.6 billion to spend for its buyback program and at the rate they are doing so, the stock may fall very close to the mandatory float level of 10% percent by year-end.”

“Despite denials, therefore, the odds of privatization are rising,” the stock brokerage said.

Emperador reported that its net income inched up to ₱5.3 billion in the first nine months of 2019 from the ₱5.2 billion registered in the same period of 2018.
The firm said it saw an 11 percent increase in revenues in the first nine months of 2019, amounting to ₱33.8 billion.

“Long-term growth in international operations should help maintain and diversify profitability,” said Emperador President Winston Co.