By Ben Otto
Philippine conglomerate Ayala will pay up to $237.5 million to acquire stakes of up to 20% in two of Yoma Group's listed companies, the companies said Thursday.
Manila-based Ayala will pay 0.45 Singapore dollar (US$0.33) a share for a stake in Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. (Z59.SG) and 15,000 Myanmar kyat (US$9.75) a share for a stake in Yangon-listed First Myanmar Investment Public Co. The offer prices represent premiums of about 35% on the last closing prices for both companies' shares.
The investment will make Ayala, one of the Philippines' oldest and biggest conglomerates, the second-largest shareholder in both companies. Ayala and Yoma Group said the investment will be the largest ever made by the Philippine private sector in Myanmar.
"Today marks a new milestone for the Yoma Group," Serge Pun, executive chairman of Yoma Strategic and FMI, said in a statement. "We look forward to leveraging on the expertise and experience of Ayala to strengthen our existing businesses as well as to explore potential opportunities in Myanmar."
Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and chief executive of Ayala, said the partnership "gives Ayala a unique opportunity to participate in Myanmar's growth story."
Ayala will pay up to US$155 million to acquire 474.7 million primary shares of Yoma Strategic. The company's stock rose as high as 22% to S$0.40 in morning trade in Singapore.
Separately, Ayala will provide a US$82.5 million convertible loan to FMI, which will be converted to a 20% stake.
Write to Ben Otto at firstname.lastname@example.org