PCC approves buyout of Ayala’s partners in solar project

Published February 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the buyout of partners of Ayala firm AC Energy Philippines Inc. in the 45-megawatt SACASOL solar power project in Negros Occidental.

The shareholdings of partners acquired by the Ayala firm were those held by the PINAI group, which included Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Limited; Langoer Investments Holding B.V. and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

In its ruling, the PCC stipulated that the transaction “will not likely result in substantial lessening of competition,” hence, the anti-trust body rendered that it will “take no further action with respect to the transaction.”

The value of the buyout deal had not been revealed, but this essentially resulted in the full divestment of the shareholdings of the PINAI partners.

The SACASOL project was the first to qualify for the feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentive program set out by government for renewable energy projects – which at first wave of developments had been at P9.68 per kilowatt hour.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), AC Energy noted that “upon completion of the transaction, the company will be able to increase its cash flows from the San Carlos power plant.”

The facility is also targeted for capacity expansion of another 45 megawatts, and this is seen re-positioning the Ayala firm “to be a major player in the renewable energy business.”

AC Energy emphasized that “the PINAI investors will sell of their shares of stock in SACASOL to the company under a share purchase agreement.” Completion of the deal is targeted March 31 this year.

Beyond existing assets, the Ayala firm is similarly keen on beefing up its RE portfolio – not just for solar installations, but also for targeted wind farm developments.

AC Energy is setting its sights both in the Philippines and in offshore markets where it has been establishing its foothold on, so it can achieve its 5,000-megawatt portfolio by year 2025.

For the Philippine market, its target is to achieve 2,000MW additional RE capacity in the next five years – which shall be a combination of both brownfield and greenfield developments.