May 302013

MANILA, Philippines – Retail tycoon Lucio Co has completed a P74-billion share swap that finalized the infusion of his retail, petroleum and real estate assets into listed holding firm Cosco Capital Inc.

Cosco Capital will raise fresh funding by selling two billion shares to institutional investors, the company said in a disclosure.

In the transaction, Cosco Capital issued 4.98 billion shares in exchange for 1.51 billion common shares of Lucio Co Group of Companies (LCGC).

“The total value of the swap transaction is P74.8 billion,” said Cosco Capital.

LGCG is composed of Puregold Price Club Inc; Premier Wine & Spirits Inc; Meritus Prime Distributions Inc; Montosco Inc; Pure Petroleum Corp; Ellimac Prime Holdings Inc; and Nation Realty Inc.

Following the share swap, Cosco Capital will have a total issued capital of 6.26 billion shares.

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The holding firm yesterday implemented a voluntary trading halt for its shares.

Cosco Capital said principal shareholders Lucio and Susan Co will also conduct a special block sale of up to two billion common shares to qualified institutional buyers in the Philippines and abroad.

Under the “top-up” equity placement, the major shareholders will then subscribe to the same number of shares sold to institutional investors.

Cosco Capital earlier planned to conduct a $500-million sale of existing and new shares that will increase its public float and beef up liquidity. The company tapped Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan for the deal.

Cosco Capital, formerly Alcorn Gold Resources Corp., earlier announced that it needs P12 billion (around $293 million) to take advantage of growth opportunities and pay existing debts.

The Co family injected into Cosco Capital its 51-percent stake in country’s second largest grocery chain Puregold and a portfolio of liquor distribution companies, commercial real estate firms and an oil storage business.

In the first quarter this year, Cosco Capital said its net income firm surged to P801 million from P193 million a year ago.

Its revenues surged 51 percent to P17.1 billion on the back of 50-percent sales growth for the retail business, 116 percent for real estate, 33 percent for liquor and 100 percent for oil storage.

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