Ongpin-led San Miguel stockholder to debut on PSE
The controlling group in San Miguel led by businessman Roberto "Bobby" Ongpin is taking steps to address circuitous ownership issue

STOCK DEBUT. The controlling group in San Miguel Corporation led by controversial businessman Roberto "Bobby" Ongpin is taking steps to address circuitous ownership issue. File photo by AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The investment group that controls the country’s biggest business group, San Miguel Corporation, plans to list in the Philippine Stock Exchange by way of introduction.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, October 17, San Miguel said the board of Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc. has agreed on the application with the PSE to list without an immediate public sale of its shares.

This and another transaction will “address the crossholdings issue,” San Miguel president and COO Ramon S. Ang said in a text message to reporters.

The two have a circuitous ownership: As of end-September, Top Frontier owns 56% of San Miguel, which in turn owns 49% of Top Frontier since the two struck a deal in 2010.

Top Frontier is led by tycoons Roberto Ongpin, Iñigo Zobel and Joselito Campos, and Ongpin’s nephew Eric Recto.

The PSE listing will be accompanied by the San Miguel board’s plan to declare as property dividend some 240.2 million shares in Top Frontier.

In a separate disclosure, San Miguel said that the property dividend will allow its shareholders to own common shares in Top Frontier.

San Miguel shareholders would be entitled to one Top Frontier common share for every 10 common shares in San Miguel.

“Based on the valuation report rendered by Punongbayan and Araullo, an independent director engaged by the corporation,” San Miguel said, the fair value of a dividend share shall be P178 apiece.

San Miguel shared that it will comply with the laws on payment of withholding taxes for dividend shares, and will remit accordingly to the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

The changes announced by San Miguel caused its share prices to hike 5% from P76 on the last trading day to P97.80 per on Thursday. –

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