Philippine-listed water and wastewater services provider Manila Water Company Inc is acquiring an 18.72 per cent stake in Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Company Limited (East Water), a publicly listed water supply and distribution company in Thailand.
Manila Water’s disclosure on Monday did not provide financial details of the transaction. It marked the company’s first point of entry into Thailand as part of its ongoing expansion in Southeast Asia.
“Our entry into the Thailand water space aligns squarely with our internationalization strategy, with a focus in Southeast Asia,” said Manila Water President and CEO Ferdz dela Cruz.
Manila Water signed a share purchase agreement with Thailand’s Electricity Generating Public Company Limited to acquire the 18.72 per cent equity in East Water. The acquisition will be funded using internally generated funds and bank debt, the company said.
East Water is a publicly listed company whose shares are traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. It is engaged in the provision of raw water and tap water since 1992 in the provinces of Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chonburi – the country’s main industrial region, and home to a number of heavy industries, including automotive, electronics, and petrochemicals.
“East Water’s operations are strategically located along the Eastern Economic Corridor which is targeted to be a leading economic zone in the Southeast Asian region,” Manila Water disclosed.
Manila Water’s entry in Thailand comes after its foray into bulk water and concession projects in Vietnam, where it is now the largest direct foreign investor in the country’s water sector.
It has also completed pilot projects in Bandung, Indonesia for a non-revenue water reduction program, and in Yangon, Myanmar for leakage reduction.
In the Philippines, Manila Water provides water treatment, water distribution, sewerage, and sanitation services to more than six million people in the eastern side of Metro Manila, comprising a broad range of residential, commercial and industrial customers.
It is a subsidiary of the country’s oldest conglomerate Ayala Corporation.
“From the conglomerate perspective, Ayala sees this development as a strategic entry point into Thailand. With Manila Water leading the way, we hope to leverage our various capabilities to enlarge our footprint in the country,” said Ayala President and COO and Manila Water Board Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.