Ayala Corporation, one of the largest business groups in the country, completed today the placement of 15 million common shares held in its treasury. The shares were priced at P430 per share. This raised cash proceeds of P 6.45 billion for Ayala which it intends to use to fund several sizable projects it is eyeing in the infrastructure and power sectors.
Ayala is looking to invest up to US$1 billion over the next five years in the transport infrastructure and power generation sectors as it builds a portfolio of power generation assets and as it sets its sights on toll road, rail, and airport projects under the government’s public private partnership program (PPP).
On top of the Daang Hari–SLEX Connector road, which was the first PPP project rolled out and which Ayala won last December 2011, the company expressed interest to participate in other PPP projects expected to be bidded out soon. Projects of interest to the group include the NAIA Expressway, the Cavite-Laguna (CALA) Expressway, and the LRT Line 1 extension and O&M. Ayala recently formed a strategic partnership with Metro Pacific Investment Corp. to jointly pursue light rail projects in the Metro Manila area. Ayala said it is also keen to participate in the development of airports such as the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
In the power generation sector, Ayala has established a platform of conventional and renewable technologies and has committed around US$100 million of equity on approximately 180 megawatts of gross generating capacity. It began construction of a 135-megawatt CFB thermal plant in Calaca, Batangas in partnership with the Phinma group’s Trans Asia Oil and Development Corp. It is also currently working on a possible second phase of expansion of the plant. Recognizing the country’s need for both base load capacity and alternative energy sources, Ayala is also gradually building its portfolio of renewable energy sources in solar, wind and hydro technologies. Investments in these technologies will be shaped in part by the implementation of the feed-in-tariffs which the government is expected to announce in the coming months. Beyond these initiatives the company continues to actively pursue a robust pipeline of greenfield projects and acquisition opportunities in the power sector.
Ayala President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Fernando Zobel de Ayala, said, “The company is in a phase of active investment and is eyeing to build new businesses in power and transport infrastructure. In the same manner Ayala invested in the telecom and water sector in the past, we believe the power and infrastructure sectors are critical for the country’s growth and development. We hope to be able to contribute in some measure to the development of these sectors and at the same time create future sources of earnings and value for the group.”
While the company remains focused on the Philippines, it also continues to explore opportunities in other markets in the region. It recently acquired a 10% stake in Ho Chi Minh Infrastructure Investment Co. (CII), a leading player in the infrastructure sector in Vietnam. CII holds toll road concession agreements such as the 15.7-kilometer expansion of the existing Ha Noi Highway which connects the northeastern part of Ho Chi Minh City to Bien Hoa, an industrial center located in the southern part of Vietnam.
Ayala believes this investment provides strategic access to other infrastructure opportunities which may present opportunities for the Ayala group to establish a presence across several sectors in Vietnam.
Ayala Corporation’s share price has risen by 46% year-to-date with market capitalization of over P260 billion.
The above statement pertains to the disclosure made today to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Philippine Stock Exchange, and Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation, by Ayala general counsel Solomon M. Hermosura.