Philippines: Vista Land buys 88% stake in Starmalls for $691m

Philippine holding company Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc has invested $691m (P32.7 billion) in property developer Starmalls Inc to secure a controlling stake in the firm.

Vista Land earlier signed the deal through a sales and purchase agreement, wherein it will acquire 88.25 per cent of Starmalls from the Fine Group that composed majority shareholders, namely Fine Properties Inc, Althorp Holdings Inc, Manuela Corporation, and former Philippine Senator Manuel Villar.

Vista Land and Starmalls are both principally owned by the family of the former Senator.

Also read: PH property titan SM Prime seeks $426m in bonds offer, sets interest rates

Starmalls disclosed that a total of 4,573,276,535 shares were sold priced at P4.51 apiece, representing a 44.87 per cent discount to Starmalls’ last traded price of P8.18 per share as of November 9, 2015.

The Fine Group will subscribe to new VLL shares at P7.15 per share, representing a 25.88 per cent premium to Vista Land’s last traded price of P5.68 per share as of yesterday.

Starmalls is a major developer, owner and operator of retail malls that target mass market retail consumers in the Philippines and is an early mover in this market segment, focusing on locating in densely populated areas under-served by similar retail malls and within close proximity to transport hubs and key infrastructure. It also develops and operates business process outsourcing (BPO) commercial centres. As of September 30, 2015, Starmalls, through its subsidiaries, owned and operated 10 retail malls in key cities and municipalities in the Philippines and two BPO commercial centers in Metro Manila, with a combined gross floor area (GFA) of 509,385 square meters.

Also read: GT Capital completes acquisition of PH housing firm Pro-Friends

And likewise via its subsidiaries, Starmalls had four retail malls and one BPO commercial centre under construction, with plans to grow to over 1.0 million square meters in GFA via enhancements to existing assets and to over 1.3 million square meters in total GFA including new developments by the end of 2018.

As the country’s largest builder in the horizontal residential market, Starmalls has presence in 92 cities and municipalities in 35 provinces, having built approximately 300,000 homes as of September 30, 2015 since it started operations in 1977.

Also read: SM-ALI Group consortium win $221.6m bid for property development in PH

“The company believes that the acquisition of Starmalls will transform it into a fully integrated property developer with continued leadership in horizontal residential projects combined with a sizeable and growing mass market retail mall and BPO platform and the ability to replicate the integrated Communicity model across the Philippines,” Starmalls said in its statement. “In addition, the company believes that the enhanced scale and stability provided by the acquisition and extensive synergies between the two businesses will strongly benefit the company and its shareholders going forward.”

VLL’s last trading price increased 2.82 per cent or P0.160 to close at P5.84, while Starmalls’ last trading price remained at P8.18 since Monday.

Also read:

PH realty firm Vista Land raises $300m from 7-year debt offer

Hong Kong’s ADM Capital, BPE Asia to invest $150m in Philippines office space project

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.