Billionaire Enrique Razon to take control of Manila water from Ayala

Billionaire Enrique Razon, chairman of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and Bloomberry Resorts Corp., speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 30, 2018. The conference brings together leaders in business, government, technology, philanthropy, academia, and the media to discuss actionable and collaborative solutions to some of the most important questions of our time. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Philippine tycoon Enrique Razon has offered to buy the rest of Manila Water Co. Inc. shares as he moves to take control of the company from Ayala Corp. ahead of crucial water contract negotiations.

Razon’s Prime Metroline Holdings Inc. will conduct a tender offer for Manila Water shares at 13 pesos each, according to a stock exchange filing. Shares of the water company fell as much as 9% after the announcement.

The tycoon’s offer was disclosed a day after Ayala Corp. said unit Philwater Holdings Co. will grant proxy rights to Razon, giving him a 51% voting interest in the water concessionaire after the transaction. Ayala’s effective voting interest in Manila Water will drop to 31.6%, it said.

Manila Water shares were down 7.8% as of 10:14 a.m. local time on Friday, poised for its biggest decline since Dec. 17 when it plunged by 36%. The benchmark Philippine stock index dropped 0.8%.

Manila Water’s ownership change is happening before the Philippine capital’s two water providers, the other being Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s Maynilad Water Services Inc., start contract talks with government following attacks by President Rodrigo Duterte. On Feb. 3, Razon acquired a 25% stake in Manila Water.

The water companies have been in Duterte’s line of fire since December for allegedly profiting from unfair provisions in their contracts, which were slated to run until 2037. Duterte told the concessionaires: accept government’s offer for new water contracts or see the state take over their operations.

Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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