Alsons selling 50-percent stake in thermal-energy firm to GBPC

By Lenie Lectura – June 5, 2017

from Business Mirror

ALSONS Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR) of the Alcantara group is selling its 50-percent interest in Alsons Thermal Energy Corp. (Atec) to Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC).

Atec is the holding company for ACR’s baseload coal-fired power plant assets. GBPC is the leading power producer in the Visayas and is chaired by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“On June 3 ACR and GBPC signed an agreement whereby ACR agreed to sell 14,952,678 shares in Atec to GBPC and assign 50 percent of its receivables in Atec to GBPC,” ACR told the stock exchange on Monday.

The transaction, however, is still subject to regulatory approval, including the Philippine Competition Commission.

“ACR will gain a strategic partner for its coal-power plant projects and future energy projects it will undertake through Atec,” ACR said. “The partnership will greatly benefit the power consumers with the combined technical competencies and strengths of GBPC in the Visayas and ACR’s long years of experience in Mindanao as the island’s first independent power producer, particularly in light of the planned interconnection of the Mindanao and Visayas grids.”

“The new partnership with Alsons presents a significant milestone for us, through GBPC, to enter the fast-growing and dynamic Mindanao market given Alsons’ proven, long-standing and successful track record in owning and operating power plants in Mindanao. This strategic acquisition is in line with MPIC’s commitment to further bolster our infrastructure investments in all parts of the Philippines,” Pangilinan said.

Atec owns a 75-percent stake in the 210-megawatt (MW) Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC) baseload coal-fired plant in Maasim, Sarangani province.

ACR’s longtime Japanese partner Toyota Tsusho Corp. (TTC) will still hold a 25-percent equity in SEC. Atec will also assume ACR’s stake in San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI), which is developing a 105-MW baseload coal-fired plant in Zamboanga City.

The SRPI plant, which will provide baseload power to Zamboanga City and other nearby areas, is scheduled to commence commercial operations in 2021. ACR operates three diesel plants in different parts of Mindanao to provide peaking and backup power. It is also entering the renewable-energy sphere with its first 15-MW run-of-river hydro plant in Sarangani scheduled to begin construction this year.

ING Bank N.V. acted as ACR’s sole financial adviser for the transaction while the law firm of Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose served as ACR’s legal adviser. Macquarie Capital acted as sole financial adviser, and Puyat Jacinto & Santos Law acted as the legal adviser to GBPC.

“We look forward to a fruitful partnership that combines GBPC’s technical competencies and strengths in the Visayas with ACR’s long years of experience in Mindanao as the island’s first independent power producer. We believe that this partnership will greatly benefit power consumers, particularly in light of the planned interconnection of the Mindanao and Visayas grids, which we strongly support. We are sure that this alliance with GBP and MPIC will make us a more formidable enterprise, more competitive and more resilient in meeting the challenges of the present and those that are yet to come,” ACR Chairman and President Tomas Alcantara said.