Rebisco, Asia United owners ink deal with Ayala-A Brown venture

By Miguel R. Camus, BusinessMirror

Posted at Nov 02 2012 09:30 AM | Updated as of Nov 02 2012 05:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The owners of Rebisco Biscuit Corp. and Asia United Bank Corp. (AUB) are making their debut in the power-generation business. This, after the Ng family formalized its entry in a joint venture between conglomerate Ayala Corp. and A Brown Co. Inc. for a coal-fired plant in Iloilo.

A regulatory filing by Ayala late Wednesday showed that subsidiary AC Energy Holdings has finalized and executed a shareholders’ agreement with other stockholders of Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC)—specifically A Brown subsidiary Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corp. and Jin Navitas Resource Inc.

Jin Navitas is led by AUB Chairman and Rebisco Treasurer Jacinto Ng. Jr., who also heads the family’s property interests through Earth+ Style Corp.  The consortium is building a 135-megawatt (MW) circulating fluidized bed thermal facility in the municipality of Concepcion, Iloilo, which is expected to be operational in 2016.

“The shareholders’ agreement likewise confirms the terms and conditions by which PCPC will be owned, managed and controlled, and by which PCPC shall implement the development and operation of its power-generation project,” the disclosure showed.

Other details, namely the role and interests of the shareholders of PCPC, were not included in the disclosure. Officials from the three partners in the project could not be reached on Thursday.

A Brown shares closed up 3.85 percent to P3.24 each ahead of the announcement on Wednesday, while Ayala added 0.23 percent to P443 per share. The planned tie-up between Ayala and A Brown was first announced on September 20.

A. Brown said in a previous filing that the new power plant, which will reportedly utilize the latest clean-coal  technology, is “targeted to fill the anticipated tight power supply situation in Panay and the Visayas grids by 2015, as economic activity continues to expand in the area.”

The plan also includes a second 135-MW facility as a future expansion project, A Brown had said.

Ayala is gradually building its portfolio in the power sector in line with plans to grow this to about 1,000 MW in five years. It began construction of a 135-MW coal-fired plant in Calaca, Batangas, through a 50-50 joint venture with Trans Asia Oil and Development Corp.

A Brown, which is involved in property development and palm-oil production, entered the mining and energy sectors through the acquisition of Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc.