Wenceslao seeks court relief over Alphaland Marina Club row

Mick Basa
Wenceslao seeks court relief over Alphaland Marina Club row
The Wenceslao family says that Ongpin-led Alphaland has possessed their land titles covering majority of a marina project in Aseana City

MANILA, Philippines – The Wenceslao family is seeking court protection to secure its majority ownership in a marina project club, which became part of a settlement between Alphaland Development Inc. (ADI) and Ashmore Corporation.

ADI is a unit of Alphaland Corporation, the company led by controversial businessman and former trade minister Roberto Ongpin who agreed to give up some of his prime assets to settle a dispute with Ashmore. These assets include Alphaland Bay City (ABC), ADI’s joint venture with the Wenceslao Group.

ADI cannot transfer its shares in its joint venture with the Wenceslao group to London-based private equity fund Ashmore Investment Management Ltd. unless Wenceslao waives its first right to the shares, the latter said in June.

In that same statement, the Wenceslao Group said it formally asked ADI to “honor its contractual obligations” under the shareholders agreement governing their joint venture. The joint venture has a marina project located in the Manila Bay area near the SM Mall of Asia. The Wenceslaos contributed 22 hectares to the project. (READ: Wenceslao hits Alphaland-Ashmore settlement, seeks first right)

Nearly 5 months after, Delfin Wenceslao Jr., chairman and president of D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, said they are planning to file a case this November either before the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court.

“Our titles have not been returned to us. What’s worse, they agreed with Ashmore to escrow the titles,” Wenceslao told reporters on Wednesday, November 5 on the sidelines of PHILCONSTRUCT 2014.

Part of the deal would transfer 4 of Alphaland’s major assets to a newly incorporated company owned by Ashmore-led Alphaland Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Masrickstar Corporation.

But the Wenceslao group said the deal proceeded without their consent. (READ: Ongpin group sues Ashmore execs over ‘simulated’ share sale)

Responding to Wenceslao’s allegations, Alphaland said the opposing party could no longer halt the deal as it was already closed with the Philippine Stock Exchange on October 17.

“There is nothing that the Wenceslao Group can do to stop it. They should have secured injunctive relief from the courts if it wanted to. But they did not because they could not as they simply would not have any basis for doing so,” Alphaland corporate secretary Rodolfo Ponferrada said in a statement released November 5.

Wenceslao Group and Alphaland’s partnership turned sour after Ongpin formed the Alphaland Marina Corporation, set to develop and sell shares in the marina project, but excluding Wenceslaos from the development. (READ: Wenceslao Group, Ongpin tussle over Alphaland Marina Club) – Rappler.com

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