MANILA, Philippines – After acquiring a minority stake in Ayala-led Manila Water, gaming and ports tycoon Enrique Razon Jr gained 51% of voting interest in the company.
Ayala’s Executive Committee approved on Thursday, February 6, the grant of proxy rights by Philwater, an Ayala subsidiary, to Razon’s Trident Water, over a number of preferred shares to enable the latter to achieve 51% voting interest in Manila Water.
Philwater owns 4 million preferred shares in Manila Water, representing 65.95% of voting shares in the company. Upon the grant of proxy rights to Trident Water, Ayala’s voting interest in Manila Water will be reduced to 31.6%.
In a nutshell, Ayala still owns most of the assets of Manila Water, but Razon’s Trident Water will essentially be running the business.
Razon owns 25% of Manila Water through common shares, while Ayala has 38.6%. Razon bought his stake in the company for P10.7 billion, infusing fresh equity into the embattled company.
“This arrangement aims to strategically rationalize the economic and voting stakes between Ayala and Trident Water as strategic partners in Manila Water,” Manila Water said.
The partnership between the Ayalas and Razon comes at a time when President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly cursed the former over an allegedly onerous concession agreement.
The Department of Justice said Razon’s buy-in will not influence the contract review. – Rappler.com
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