Trident tender offer on Manila Water completed by April

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    Manila Water Co. Inc. said Trident Water Co. Holdings Inc. is expected to complete its mandatory tender offer by April in relation to its recent purchase of shares of the water concessionaire.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Manila Water said Trident Water will initiate the mandatory tender offer after receipt of written approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Last week, Ayala Corp., parent firm of Manila Water, announced it is selling 8.19 percent of its economic interest in the water concessionaire which carries a 39.09 percent voting power to Enrique Razon.

    Ayala’s Philwater Holdings Co. Inc. and Razon’s Trident Water Co. Holdings Inc. signed the share purchase agreement for 2.69 billion preferred shares in Manila Water worth P4.84 billion.

    The transaction further entrenches Razon’s hold in Manila Water. Early last year, he bought into Manila Water for P10.7 billion, equivalent to a 25 percent ownership.

    At the time, Ayala said it will grant Razon’s Trident Water proxy rights “to enable the latter to achieve 51 percent voting interest in Manila Water.”

    Ayala through Philwater owns 4 billion preferred shares in Manila Water, representing 65.95 percent of voting shares in the company. – Jed Macapagal