energy industry

Edgar Saavedra raises P5.3 billion from IPO of renewable energy company CREC

Isagani de Castro Jr.

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Edgar Saavedra raises P5.3 billion from IPO of renewable energy company CREC

BELL. Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. chair Edgar Saavedra (fifth from left), SEC chair Emilio Aquino (third, right) and PSE president Ramon Monzon (2nd, right) lead the ringing of the bell on the listing of CREC on the stock exchange on June 7, 2024.

Philippine Stock Exchange

The UK government's investment vehicle MOBILIST makes its first IPO investment in the Philippines by buying shares in Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. worth $12.5 million

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino billionaire-engineer Edgar Saavedra, who helped build world-class airport terminals in Cebu and Clark, debuted his renewable energy firm Citicore Renewable Energy Corporation or CREC on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Friday, June 7. 

CREC completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 1.7 billion common shares plus 178 million overallotment shares priced at P2.70 per share, allowing it to raise P5.3 billion. The IPO ran from May 27 to May 31. 

CREC will use the proceeds from the IPO for renewable energy projects as it aims to add 1 gigawatt (GW) of ready-to-build/under construction solar energy capacity per year to the Philippines’ energy mix in the next five years or 5GW by 2028. 

Included in the capital raised by CREC is $12.5 million (around P732 million) from the United Kingdom’s (UK) Mobilising Institutional Capital for Listed Product Structures or MOBILIST, an investment vehicle under the British Investment Partnerships program of the UK government.

MOBILIST partnered with PSE in July 2023 and had been looking for green companies to invest in.

PSE President and CEO Ramon Monzon said the P5.3 billion raised by CREC from its IPO, plus the P5 billion it raised from the sale of Citicore Renewable Energy REIT Corporation (CREIT) shares to the Sy family-led SM Investments Corporation, will allow CREC to develop other renewable energy plants, principally solar.

“This will propel the company one step closer to its vision of a first-world Philippines with pure renewable energy,” Monzon said. 

The UK Embassy’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office Climate and Economic Counselor Lloyd Cameron said during the listing ceremony that MOBILIST seeks to unlock private capital for projects that will help deliver the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in green energy transition. 

He said the UK’s investment in CREC demonstrates the role of development finance in supporting capital markets and in driving green energy transition. 

Cameron said CREC is MOBILIST’s “first but not its last investment in the Philippines,” adding that it was looking to invest in more companies in the PSE.

Monzon said he was glad to see the “first fruit” of MOBILIST’s partnership with PSE in CREC.

“I believe that CREC is an ideal choice for MOBILIST’s maiden investment in the Philippines, considering its criteria for selecting sustainable finance products to invest in,” he said. “This choice is shared by other institutional and retail investors as evidenced by the full exercise of CREC’s overallotment option. After all, as a pure-play renewable platform, CREC boasts of a gross installed capacity of 285.1 megawatts as of end-2023.”

Monzon said CREC is the third company of Saavedra to list on the PSE after Megawide Construction Corporation in February 2011 and CREIT in February 2022. He said the Megawide Group has raised P30 billion from three IPOs, 4 Follow-On Offerings (FOOs) of preferred shares, and 5 private placements. 

The Megawide-GMR consortium built and is operating the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 and renovated its Terminal 1. It also expanded the Clark International Airport passenger terminal, one of the world’s best airports, in Clark Freeport, Pampanga. Megawide also built the modern landport Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), south of Metro Manila.

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Not easy, says Saavedra

In his speech during the listing, Saavedra said it was not an easy initiative as they had to “work double time, including selling the story of CREC” to investors.

Although everyone understands that the Philippines needs more power plants to address its energy needs and more renewable energy to reduce power cost, Saavaedra said that “unfortunately, most investors, their sentiments are really into fixed income [investments].” Examples of these are Treasury bills and bonds that pay fixed interest or dividend payments, which are unlike stocks.

Saavedra said the next step is to “go regionally just to convince other investors” to put money in CREC.

In a press release, Saavedra said “we are delighted with the outcome of CREC’s IPO – a testament to strong investor confidence in our vision, plans and projects.” With the money raised, he said CREC will be able to deliver the additional 5GW in renewable energy by 2028.

CREC currently has 10 solar power plants and micro-grid solar rooftop systems producing 285 megawatts (MW). Their solar facilities are in Central Luzon, Cebu and Negros Occidental, and one in Mindanao.

  • Citicore Solar (CS) Bulacan
  • Citicore Solar Bataan
  • Ciitcore Solar Tarlac 1
  • Citicore Solar Tarlac 2
  • Clark Solar Farm
  • Citicore Solar South Cotabato
  • Citicore Solar Cebu
  • Citicore Solar Negros Occidental
  • Arayat-Mexico Solar Farm, a joint venture with the Ayalas’ ACEN
  • Solar rooftop systems in Bataan.

The company has also ventured into run-of-river (ROR) hydro development in Ilaguen, Isabela, as well as wind energy service contracts for at least seven off-shore wind projects.

SEC chairman Emilio Aquino said he hopes CREC’s listing and IPO will further propel renewal energy projects in the Philippines, noting the country’s vulnerability to climate threats. –

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Isagani de Castro Jr.

Before he joined Rappler as senior desk editor, Isagani de Castro Jr. was longest-serving editor in chief of ABS-CBN News online. He had reported for the investigative magazine Newsbreak, Asahi Shimbun Manila, and Business Day. He has written chapters for books on politics, international relations, and civil society.