Fund manager American Capital eyes 1st Phl investment

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 10 2013 10:57 AM | Updated as of Aug 10 2013 06:57 PM

MANILA, Philippines - US-based fund manager American Capital Energy & Infrastructure has expressed interest to bid for Power Barges 101-104, the top official of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said.

PSALM president and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said this would mark the first time American Capital would enter the Philippine energy market.

He said the asset management company is the only foreign firm that signified keen interest in the bidding.

“Based on my recollection, it (American Capital) is a first-time investor (in the Philippine energy industry),” Ledesma said.

American Capital, a publicly-traded private equity firm and global asset manager, has with $112-billion total assets under management. From its eight offices in the US and Europe, American Capital and its affiliate, European Capital consider investment opportunities from $10 million to $750 million.

It likewise invests in energy infrastructure assets in high-growth and developed markets, including power generation facilities, gas and power distribution and transmission networks, energy transportation assets, and fuel production opportunities, and product and service companies focused on the power and energy sector.

The company said it seeks to invest between $50 million and $200 million in a given opportunity, but has the capability and resources to consider even larger investments.

“The team actively seeks opportunities to invest in corporate divestitures, acquisitions of portfolio companies of private equity firms, acquisitions of family-owned or closely held businesses, going-private transactions, and ownership transitions,” it said.

American Capital specifically targets both minority and control equity investments in energy infrastructure such as power generation facilities, coal, natural gas, hydro, and renewables.

Ledesma, on the other hand, said the local firms that expressed interest to bid for the power barges are D.M. Wenceslao & Associates Inc.; Filinvest Development Corp. Utilities Inc.; S.L. Development Construction Corp.; SPC Island Power Corp.; Therma Power Visayas Inc.; Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.; and Vivant Corp.

PSALM has set the deadline for the submission of bids on Oct. 9, 2013 at 12 noon, after which the opening and evaluation of bids would follow.

Ledesma earlier reported that significant changes have been incorporated in the sale of PBs 101-104 to address bidders’ previous concerns.

“We are selling the Iloilo-based PBs 101-103 as one package and the Davao-based PB 104 as another package. Transfer to Mindanao will no longer be a requirement for PBs 101-103, but the winning bidder for PB 104 will be required to operate the barge in Mindanao for at least five years,” he said.

The PSALM board has also agreed to sell the power barges on an “as is, where is” basis. “This means that no purchase request or purchase order will be attached to the sale agreement,” Ledesma added.