CLC signed a memorandum of understanding with the owners of Starlite regarding its offer to purchase 100 per cent shares of Starlite and its subsidiaries.
“The proposed transaction is pending due diligence by CLC of Starlite and is subject to regulatory approval by the Philippine Competition Commission,” CLC said in its statement.
Starlite started operations in 1995 with the Batangas–Calapan route. Its subsidiaries have 14 vessels in the fleet of which five are Ro-Ro passenger vessels which were acquired in 2016 and 2017. It looks to expand further to other ports of operation with its brand-new vessels.
Starlite’s services cover the ports of Batangas, Calapan, Puerto Galera, Roxas and Caticlan.
Once all the processes and regulatory approvals are obtained, this acquisition will be financed by the net proceeds of CLC’s initial public offering (IPO) of common shares that it raised last month.
CLC has earmarked $34.78 million (P1.78 billion) of the IPO proceeds for fleet expansion; P245 million for purchase and, or upgrade of ports, port facilities, containers, machineries and equipment; P3.20 billion for acquisition of shipping and logistics firms; and P278 million for general corporate purposes.
CLC chairman Dennis Uy said, the planned acquisition will bring the company a step closer to fulfilling its commitment to growth in order to realise more value for its stakeholders, from the investors to the consumers.
“By modernising and expanding our operations, we can provide better shipping and logistics solutions as well as make our country more competitive in capturing the increasing trade opportunities in Southeast Asia,” Uy said.
Uy’s Udenna Group ventured in shipping in 2006 through Chelsea Shipping Corp to support the operations of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.
It has since grown the business into the country’s biggest logistics group with the largest tanker fleet in terms of capacity.
Excluding the fleet of Starlite, CLC has 11 tankers, eight tugboats, seven Ro-Ro vessels with passenger accommodation (RoPax), four barges, and three cargo ships.