MANILA -The family of House Speaker Martin Romualdez is buying a 20-percent stake in the Yuchengco Group’s EEI Corp., one of the country’s biggest construction companies.
House of Investments, chaired by businesswoman and heiress Helen Y. Dee, said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday it would sell the shares to Romualdez’s private holding company, RYM Business Management Corp., for P1.25 billion.
This values EEI at a 24 percent premium over its closing price the previous day.
Even before the deal was announced, EEI shares have nearly doubled in value over the past week after touching a P5.27 per share high on April 25.
Its shares were down 2.67 percent to P4.73 each as of this writing.
Established in 1959, House of Investments is a listed holding company whose business span construction (EEI), energy (PetroEnergy Resources Corp.) , real estate (Landev Corp.), automotive (Honda and Isuzu) and education (Mapúa University).
The Yuchengcos also own Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., one of the largest lenders in the country.
House of Investments’ stake in EEI will drop to 35.35 percent from, 55.35 percent following the sale to RYM, the disclosure showed.
“The funds will be used to reduce its debt, strengthen its balance sheet, and make it a stronger player,” House of Investments said.
The company’s bank loans jumped 32 percent to P7.55 billion as of September last year, its latest financial report showed. Loan proceeds were mainly used to finance property investments, – according to the report.
“The opportunities in the construction sector can be best explored with a strategic partner,” House of Investments said on Wednesday.
RYM Business Management holds significant interests in mining, real estate, and media through four other publicly-listed companies.
These were Bright Kindle Resources and Investments Inc., Marcventures Holdings Inc., Benguet Corp. and Prime Media Holdings Inc.
Meanwhile, the Yuchengco Group will transfer its insurance and property assets to House of Investments via a P15.74 billion share swap deal.
House of Investments will issue new shares in exchange for 77.32 percent of MICO Equities, Inc., 51 percent of Sun Life Grepa Financial Inc., and 49 percent of Grepa Realty Holdings Inc., the disclosure showed.
MICO Equities Inc. is holds the investments in non-life insurance through Malayan Insurance Co. Inc.
“MICO is one of the leading non-life insurance companies in the Philippines that is authorized by the Insurance Commission to underwrite the following: aviation, engineering, fire/property, marine, miscellaneous casualty, motorcar, personal accident, residential fire and travel insurance, and surety/bonds,” the filing showed.
Sun Life Grepa is a joint venture between the Yuchengco Group and Sun Life Financial (Philippines).
Grepa Realty Holdings’ assets include Grepalife Building along Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue in Makati City and properties in Cebu, Antipolo, Tacloban, Manila and a lot in Carmelray in Calamba which is an industrial park classified as a special economic zone
House of Investments’ property portfolio includes A.T. Yuchengco Centre, RCBC Plaza, and the upcoming The Yuchengco Centre.