Lucio Tan’s Eton moves closer to delisting after share buyback

Rappler.com
The property firm buys back more than half of its shares held by the public, in line with its delisting plan

MANILA, Philippines – Lucio Tan’s property firm, Eton Properties Philippines, Inc., has bought back more than half of its shares held by the public, in line with its delisting plan.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, December 7, Eton said it has bought 44.07 million of its common shares from public investors during an extended tender offer. Only 29.72 million common shares of the company are still held by the public.
        
Paramount LandEquities, Inc., the major shareholder of Eton, is currently conducting a tender offer so it could delist Eton’s shares from PSE for failure to comply with the minimum public ownership requirement.

“This is without prejudice to the additional shares that may be tendered after December 5. Pursuant to the directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay or postpone the tender offer,” Eton said.
        
The property firm earlier reported that it was directed by the SEC to extend its tender offer which was supposed to end last Wednesday, December 5.
        
While it filed a motion for reconsideration, Eton and Paramount said they will abide by the directive of the SEC.
        
Last October, Eton applied for the delisting of its shares because of its inability to comply with the 10% public float rule.

Eton is 97.46% owned by Tan-owned firms Paramount and Saturn Holdings Inc.
        
This means that only 2.54% of the company’s shares are owned by the public.
          
Eton said it will spend P221.4 million to acquire all the public shares.
          
The PSE has given non-compliant companies until January 1, 2013 to meet the public float requirement.

Companies that will not be able to comply with be slapped with 6-month trading suspension after which delisting procedures will commence. – Rappler.com