First Pacific gains majority control of Roxas Holdings

MANILA, Philippines ­– The Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP)-led Hong Kong-based conglomerate First Pacific Corporation Limited, has taken majority control of Roxas Holdings Incorporated, the country’s 3rd largest sugar refiner.

First Pacific’s stake in Roxas Holdings now stands at 50.9%, up from a previous 34%, completing plans it made last year.    

Roxas Holdings, in a disclosure to the stock exchange, said its board agreed to sell a total of 241.78 million treasury shares to First Pacific’s subsidiary First Agri Holdings Incorporated, at P7 ($0.016) per share for a total consideration of P1.7 billion ($38.5 million).

First Pacific’s additional investment boosted Roxas Holdings’ total equity to P8.63 billion ($195.6 million) from P6.93 billion ($157.1 million).

Roxas & Company Incorporated's (RCI) stake in Roxas Holdings is now at 30% after it purchased 33.1 million shares for P232 million ($5.26 million) from the market. RHI is the founding Roxas family’s holding firm.

Roxas Holdings chairman Pedro Roxas said proceeds from the sale will be used for plant upgrades, possible acquisitions, and diversification of its revenue and income base by expanding its ethanol business and developing power co-generation.

It is planning to build biomass plants in facilities in Negros Occidental and Batangas.

More opportunities

The firm is also looking at investment opportunities in Indonesia, including the possibility of constructing a sugar milling facility there.

“FP and RHI will continue to work for the consolidation of the industry in order for it to survive. We need to immediately bring plant utilization and efficiencies up,” Roxas said.  

First Pacific earlier said it is looking for more investment opportunities in the Philippine sugar industry. The group is looking into investing in Philippine agriculture to supply the raw material needs of its subsidiary, PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, one of the biggest food companies in Indonesia.

The conglomerate also has significant stakes in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Metro Pacific Investments (MPIC). –

US$1 = P44.09