Century Properties launches P5.4-B overseas equity offering


MANILA, Philippines-Property developer Century Properties Group Inc. has launched an overseas equity offering worth as much as P5.4 billion to help raise fresh fund for expansion and widen its public float after backdoor-listing on the local stock exchange.

CPG disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday that its board approved late Tuesday an equity place-out transaction as well as the sale of some shares to APG Strategic Real Estate Pool NV, a unit of Dutch pension fund APG.

But CPG said "no definite agreement" had been agreed upon with the APG. A spokesperson said the final terms of the equity deal would be announced by Friday.

CPG issued a clarification to the PSE following a report from financial publication Finance Asia that CPG had opened book-building to sell two billion shares to offshore investors at an indicative price range of P1.75 and P2.35 per share. It further reported that an over-allotment option of 15 percent would be part of the transaction, suggesting additional 300 million shares that could be placed out by the controlling shareholders - the Antonio family - to new investors in case of strong demand.

Shares of CPG were down by 3.2 percent to P2.09 per share on Thursday, giving the property firm a market capitalization of P16.34 billion.

CPG neither confirmed nor denied the issue size and price range reported by FinanceAsia.

Based on the report, this transaction can bring in new investors to own at least 26 percent of CPG's stock after the transaction, which could further increase to 30 percent if the over-allotment option was exercised.

At present, CPG has a public float of only 6.4 percent after backdoor listing on the local stock exchange through dormant East Asia Power Resources Corp. in 2011. The PSE requires a minimum public ownership of 10 percent to remain listed on its bourse.

Swiss investment bank UBS is arranging the equity deal, which was opened to offshore investors outside the United States.

CPG plans to invest up to P8.3 billion this year to boost development on its master-planned projects as well as to break ground on new ventures. The company has four ongoing master-planned developments, namely Century City in Makati City, Canyon Ranch in Cavite, Azure Urban Residences in Paranaque City and Acqua Residences in Mandaluyong City. It also plans to launch this year a 4.4-hectare residential project along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to offer about 2,000 affordable housing units.

Among the completed developments of CPG are Essensa East Forbes in Fort Bonifacio, the Philippines' first fully fitted and fully furnished condominium South of Market (SOMA) also in Fort Bonifacio, SOHO Central in the Greenfield District of Mandaluyong City, Pacific Place in Ortigas and a collection of French-inspired condominium projects in Makati called Le Triomphe, Le Domaine and Le Metropole. As of the end of 2011, Century also manages 51 properties including the Asian Development Bank and Makati Medical Center.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer | February 16, 2012


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