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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

First Holdings raising P7B war chest for acquisitions

First Philippine Holdings Corp (FPH) is tapping the financial markets to beef up its war chest for investments and acquisitions.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Lopez-led firm said its board of directors cleared the issuance of up to P7 billion in preferred shares or fixed-rate corporate notes or a combination of both. The fund-raising would be done in one or more tranches.

Sought for comment, the holding firm said it has started the sale of P1.5 billion worth of preferred shares with the option to upsize it up to P3 billion. The offer period ends tomorrow.

FPH is selling up to six million preferred shares at P500 per share. The shares, with a par value of P100 each, are cumulative, non-voting, non-participating and non-convertible.

Net proceeds of the issuance will bankroll investments and acquisitions at the parent level or through its subsidiaries.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp was tapped to act as the sole arranger.

FPH's earnings dropped 42 percent to P1.03 billion in the first quarter from P1.79 billion a year ago on higher finance costs, expenses and foreign exchange losses.

FPH has interests in power generation, manufacturing, and real estate development, among others. It has a 3.95 percent interest in Manila Electric Co (Meralco). is the online news portal of TV5, which like Meralco is chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan.

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