Jun 272013

MANILA, Philippines – The parent firm of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) – jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) – has complied with the 10-percent minimum public float requirement of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

In a disclosure, PAL Holdings Inc. assistant corporate secretary Ma. Cecilia Pesayco said the company has issued 2.415 billion common shares with a par value of P1 per share, or a total consideration of P2.415 billion to certain investors via private placement.

Pesayco said the total amount of the transaction was placed at P2.415 billion or about 34.5 percent of the planned P7- billion increase in the company’s authorized capital to P30 billion from P23 billion.

The PSE suspended the trading of seven firms including PAL Holdings last January due to their failure to meet the required minimum public ownership level of 10 percent. It has given these companies until the end of the month to comply with the public float requirement otherwise they would be delisted from the bourse.

PAL has a public float of just 0.55 percent. With the private placement, the company’s public float is now over 10 percent.

PAL Holdings is seeking the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to beef up its capital stock to comply with PSE’s minimum public ownership requirement.

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Pesayco said the additional capital would be sold to investors to comply with the 10-percent minimum public ownership set by the PSE.

PAL Holdings has until the end of the month to comply with the requirement otherwise it would be delisted from the stock exchange.

 “The said application for increase in capital was filed by the company in order to accommodate the respective subscriptions of independent investors to shares of stock of the company, and consequently, to comply with the minimum public ownership requirement of the Exchange,” Pesayco said.

PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said earlier the company would comply with the minimum public float via a share sale through Tan-owned Philippine National Bank (PNB).

Since SMC acquired a 49- percent stake in PAL Holdings worth $500 million in April last year, the national flag carrier embarked on an aggressive re-fleeting program aimed at acquiring 100 new aircraft.

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