Ayala Land bags Bacolod property; SM Prime questions award

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2011 10:57 AM | Updated as of Jul 19 2011 01:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Ayala Land Inc. has been awarded a 7.7-hectare property in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental that was subject of a failed bidding in the province early this month.

Ayala Land said in a stock exchange disclosure on Monday that it sealed a deal with the provincial government of Negros Occidental for the property, which it plans to develop into a mixed-use complex at an estimated cost of P6 billion.

The government will sell the firm 3.66 hectares of the Bacolod property, and lease 4.04 hectares over a period of 50 years.

Henry Sy-owned SM Prime Holdings Inc. has questioned the deal, saying it was "illicit" as a court case it filed regarding the July 7 auction of the property was pending.

SM Prime said its offer was higher than Ayala Land's during the bidding, which was later declared a failure as bids were below the appraised value of the property.

SM Prime said the awards committee only disclosed the appraised value after the actual bidding to "deliberately provide an excuse" to reject its bid.

“SMPH did not lose, and our interest in the project remains,” it said.

The company said the Bacolod court has yet to rule on its petition, with the hearing set on July 21.

SM Prime said it offered to pay P18,885 per square meter of the property, while Ayala Land's bid was only P17,000 per square meter.