BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Business tycoon Lucio Co was invited to invest in a multi-billion development of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (BREDCO) port at the Reclamation Area here.
BREDCO president John Palanca Alonte said the company aims to bring the port to “the next level” by making it a world-class facility. To do this, they need a strategic investor like Co..
Alonte said BREDCO has “no supermajority shareholder.” Its owners include himself, his uncle Simplicio Palanca, and Willy Au. He said he invited Co to be a prime partner at BREDCO because the latter was his friend and they have done business partnerships together. “I know the guy well,” Alonte said.
He added the tycoon is one of the country’s taipans.
Co and his wife Susan were listed by Forbes as the 11th wealthiest people in the Philippines with a real-time net worth of $1.5 billion. The couple, who started one hypermarket in 1998 at Mandaluyong City, now owns around 300 Puregold Price Club stores. They also have interests in gaming, hotels, and wine distribution.
Alonte said they have been talking for the past 8 months, and are in the “advanced stage already.” He stressed, however, they have not closed the deal yet, either for Co to be an equity investor, to increase capital, or to extend credit facility.
Alonte is hoping the plan will push through by September.
He said the Filipino-Chinese businessman, aside from having the resources to bring the port to the next level, is committed to the Philippines and a “friend of mine.”
Meanwhile, BREDCO had a soft opening of its new port terminal here on Wednesday, July 25.
Alonte said the P360-million facility is still on a “dry run” to make sure there will be no glitches once it fully operates this October, which is in time for the MassKara Festival. – Rappler.com
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