MANILA. Philippines – The board of directors of state-run Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC), in a special meeting on May 7, has finally approved the engagement of Swiss Bank UBS AG as its financial advisor, sole underwriter and global coordinator for its mandated follow-on stock offering.
From its current shares listing of 0.21-percent, the company has to jack that up to the mandatory minimum public float of 10-percent prescribed by the Philippine Stock Exchange.
â€œPNOC-EC intends to sell the shares before the December 31, 2012 deadline set (by) the PSE regarding the minimum public ownership rule for all listed companies,â€ company compliance officer Silvestre Punsalan III has noted in a disclosure to the local bourse.
He emphasized that from the companyâ€™s current listed shares of 4,467, 585; this will be increased by additional 9.79-percent for equivalent shares of 217,757,379.
â€œPNOC-EC plans to sell primary shares to the public,â€ the company executive has added; noting that the next steps will focus on due diligence and valuation processes.
â€œThe due diligence and valuation process by UBS AG is estimated to take two months, after which PNOC-EC will request the PSE and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) to approve selling of the primary shares,â€ the company stated.
The extended deadline has afforded the state-run firm to secure all the necessary approvals from government prior to its final decision for a follow-on listing.
At some point, there have been declarations from Energy Secretary Rene D. Almendras that a de-listing could also be an option for PNOC-EC if its shares would not be able to fetch good price in the market.
PNOC-EC remains a â€œprized jewelâ€ for the government, primarily due to the sizeable revenues it has been gaining from its minority stake in the multi-billion Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.
Beyond that, the company has also been laying down aggressive forays into coal exploration as well as in the rollout of compressed natural gas (CNG) facilities, including those for buses.
Its long-delayed ambition for a plunge into power generation, via proposed projects in Luzon and Mindanao grids, is also expected to finally move forward this time
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