MANILA, Philippines --- Universal Robina Corporation (URC) has sold treasury shares, raising Php 7.44 billion, to beef up its war chest for potential acquisitions as well as for general corporate purposes.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, URC said its board of directors has approved the sale of 120 million URC common shares previously held as treasury shares through a placement to institutional investors.
The shares were sold at Php 62.00 per share reflecting a 4.8 percent discount to the previous closing price and a 2.3 percent discount to the 30-day volume weighted average price.
The sale shares were crossed through the PSE on June 14, 2012, upon obtaining approval for the application for a block sale from the PSE. Settlement for the Sale Shares is anticipated to occur on June 19, 2012.
URC said CLSA Limited acted as sole book-runner and sole placing agent for the share sale.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has recently approved the amendment of the Articles of Incorporation of Universal Robina Corporation (URC) to allow the firm to engage in the business of production of fuel ethanol.
URC president Lance Gokongwei said URC is investing about $27 million for the construction of an ethanol plant in Mahhuyod, Negros Oriental as part of the firm's URSUMCO sugar mill.
He said the ethanol plant should be operational by the latter part of 2013 with a capacity of 100,000 liters a day adding that the move will complement the firm's sugar milling business as it will be using molasses which are by-products of its sugar milling operations.
Gokongwei said they will take advantage of relationships with oil companies established through sister company Cebu Pacific Air.
He noted that there is a huge market for fuel ethanol because of government mandate for all gasoline to have a 10 percent ethanol mix.
"We are confident to be able to sell that (ethanol output) because there is insufficient supply of ethanol, a lot are still imported from Brazil and we do have long standing relationship with fuel companies as an airline and consumer company," Gokongwei said.
He added that, while they are starting with the production of fuel ethanol, they are also studying the possibility of producing potable ethanol which is used by liquor manufacturers.
URC owns four sugar mills and three refineries in Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Iloilo City, Cagayan, and Passi City.