MVP plans to sell stake in Rockwell to Lopez group

MANILA, Philippines - The Lopez family may be strengthening their hold over upscale real estate developer Rockwell Land Corp.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) shareholders, including company President Manuel V. Pangilinan, are considering selling shares in Rockwell Land to the Lopez Group, Pangilinan told reporters on Friday, May 25.

"We're not into property. Our plan is to sell our shares in Rockwell Land to the Lopezes," said Pangilinan on the sidelines of the shareholder meeting of Meralco's mother company, Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

He confirmed that the two parties had already discussed the potential share sale.  

Pangilinan clarified that while his power company Meralco is "no longer a shareholder of Rockwell Land," Meralco shareholders themselves hold stocks in Rockwell and that these individuals could sell up to 1/4 of the property developer to the Lopezes. "I would say maybe around 24-25%," said Pangilinan when asked about how much stake in Rockwell would be sold.

The new shares would give the Lopez family a stronger majority in the developer. Lopez Holdings Corp owns 46.6% of First Philippine Holdings Corp, which in turn owns 51% of Rockwell Land, explained Carla Paras-Sison, Lopez Holdings assistant vice-president for Media and Investor Relations, via text message.

Pangilinan and the Lopez family have had previous deals, including the sale of the Lopezes' former crown jewel, Meralco. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific now owns over 48% of Meralco through a joint venture company with affiliate Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. - Rappler.com