KKR buys 11.9% stake in PH-listed power developer First Gen for $192m

FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Private equity giant KKR & Co has agreed to acquire about 11.9 per cent in listed Philippines power developer First Gen Corp for $192.2 million, according to its announcement Monday.

The acquisition, which involves 427 million common shares of First Gen, will be carried out by Singapore-based Valorous Asia Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of KKR.

KKR said Valorous intends to acquire all of the tendered commons shares of First Gen at a price of 22.50 pesos ($0.45) per common share on July 1, 2020.

The final agreed number of shares and amount was higher than what Valourous initially offered. In May, the firm offered to acquire a 9 per cent stake First Gen Corp for 7.29 billion pesos ($144 million).

First Gen, the holding company of conglomerate First Philippine Holdings in power generation and energy-related businesses, has over 20 years of experience in power development. Its clean energy portfolio includes natural gas, hydro, solar, and geothermal power projects. It is also developing a liquefied natural terminal in Batangas.

First Philippine Holdings, controlled by the Lopez family, is one of the most established conglomerates in the Philippines.

According to Michael de Guzman, a managing director at KKR’s Infrastructure team, said the buyout major has now invested more than $1 billion in the Philippines and will continue to look for new opportunities to support the country’s growth trajectory.

“We are very pleased with the result of this tender offer and are honored to be an investor in First Gen, a world-class infrastructure institution that plays a critical role in the lives of many Filipinos,” he said.

Southeast Asia is a key part of KKR’s Asia infrastructure strategy, and KKR’s investment in First Gen extends the firm’s track record as an active investor in Southeast Asia across asset classes, according to the announcement.

First Gen is KKR’s third investment in the Philippines, following the firm’s investments in Metro Pacific Hospitals, the country’s largest private hospital operator and healthcare network, and in Voyager Innovations, a technology company.

KKR is currently raising $12.5 billion for its fourth Asia-focused buyout fund.

The PE firm is betting big on Asia where its portfolio accounts for over 30 per cent of the firm’s private equity business. KKR said its significant exposure in the region has been “hugely helpful” as businesses here are starting to set foot on the road to recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.