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US firm buys 11.9% FGen stake

By Myrna M. Velasco

New York Stock Exchange-listed global investment firm KKR & Co. Inc. is investing P9.6 billion or US$192.2 million for 11.9-percent equity in First Gen Corporation that it acquired through voluntary tender offer process.

The stake acquisition, which accounts for 427,041,291 common shares of Lopez-owned First Gen and to be firmed up this July 1, was made through the US firm’s subsidiary Valorous Asia Holdings, which is the entity that carried out the tender offer.

“The offeror intends to acquire all of these tendered common shares at a price of P22.50 (US$0.45) per common share on July 1, 2020 the cross date previously set out in the offeror’s tender documents, representing a total investment value of P9.6 billion,” KKR has emphasized.

According to David Luboff, partner and head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure of KKR, their company has “long viewed First Gen as n exceptional business with a high caliber team, and we have high respect for the Lopez family for building this strong, well-established company.”

The equity acquisition, he said, is “an exciting and further milestone for KKR’s Asia Pacific business.”

First Gen currently has 3,492 megawatts of installed capacity in its power generating portfolio that are mainly leaning on clean energy technologies, such as gas and renewable energy developments in geothermal, solar, wind and hydro.

Federico R. Lopez, chairman and chief executive officer of First Gen said the entry of KKR through its successful tender offer is “especially exciting given the accelerating transition we all need to make toward a decarbonized future and we look forward to engaging with a world class global investor, such as KKR, as we navigate the journey ahead as partners.”

First Gen’s blueprinted major project in the immediate term is a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), which is contemplated to be the first liquefied natural gas import facility for the country. That will eventually be transformed into a more permanent onshore terminal that will command an investment of US1.0 billion.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has indicated that it wants that investment proposition concretized before the current administration would bow out in 2022.

For KKR, Michael De Guzman who is the managing director of the company’s infrastructure team, said “we continue to look for new opportunities to support the country’s growth trajectory, its leading companies and its families through our infrastructure, private equity, real estate and credit investing businesses.”

KKR has already invested more than US$1.0 billion in the Philippines, including capital infusion in other conglomerates that also have diversified investment portfolios, including those on health care.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/06/29/us-firm-buys-11-9-fgen-stake/)

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