Aug 242014

MANILA, Philippines – Lucio Co’s acquisition  of one of the country’s leading liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) players cost about $80 million, an industry source told The STAR.

Cosco Capital Inc., the investment vehicle of retail magnate Lucio and Susan Co, earlier this month completed the acquisition of LPG supplier Liquigaz at an undisclosed price.

“It must have cost $80 million,” said the industry source who’s firm also took a shot at the acquisition of Liquigaz.

The acquisition of 100 percent ownership of Liquigaz was executed through Canaria Holdings Corp., 90-percent owned by Cosco Capital and 10-percent owned by PR Gaz Inc.

The transaction, which marked Cosco’s entry into the LPG business, was first announced in July.

Liquigaz was formerly a unit of SHV Energy of the Netherlands prior to Cosco’s entry and is currently the second-largest supplier of LPG in the Philippines behind Petron with a market share of 31 percent as of end 2013.

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It is also the biggest seller of LPG in Luzon, the site of its storage facilities.

SHV Energy last year offered its Philippine LPG operations for sale.

SHV Energy reported in 2012 that “wholesale results in the Philippines were under pressure, negatively impacting Liquigaz’s overall result.”

Oil giant Petron was one of the companies which proposed an offer for the Liquigaz acquisiton, the firm confirmed in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange last year.

Petron’s offer to acquire Liquigaz, however, was opposed by small players led by the LPG Marketers Association Inc. (LPGMA) as it was believed to pave way for a potential monopoly in the local LPG sector.

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