Timeline: How the sale of Aboitiz's transport business went kaput

By Lala Rimando, abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak

Posted at Sep 07 2009 07:32 PM | Updated as of Sep 09 2009 01:15 AM

MANILA - Before SuperFerry 9 sank on Sunday, its owner, the Aboitiz Transport Service Corp (ATSC) was supposed to have been out of the hands of the Aboitiz family already.

Below is the timeline of the botched sale.


- Underwent an asset rationalization program to mazimize use and profitability of the vessels.

- Converted the vessels to carry more freight (for high paying cargos) instead of passengers.

- Adopted a low-cost carrier business model for its passenger business to compete with low-cost airlines. This involved sending off vessels to sail more often, tapping internet and other low cost distribution and sales channels, tiered pricing with very low rates, etc.



September – Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV, public holding company) and Aboitiz & Co. (ACO, private holding company) accepted the unsolicited offer of KGLI-NM Holdings, Inc. to buy 93% of their shareholdings for P2.044 per share or about $100 million. KGLI-NM is a 60-40 joint venture between local shipping firm Negros Holdings Management Corp. and Dutch company, KGL Investment BV. The buyers have until Nov. 22, 2008 to notify the selling parties whether it will proceed with the transaction, after which a definitive share purchase agreement will be executed on or before Jan. 15, 2009.

November - KGL-NM requested to extend its due diligence review period by one more month or until December 19, 2008.

December – AEV and ACO have agreed to renegotiate an earlier deal with KGLI-NM Holdings Inc. for the latter to buy 42% from the Aboitiz group and the public's 7% via a tender offer later. Both purchases will be done at P1.84 per share, 10% lower than the original offer, giving the Aboitiz group about P1.9 billion. "The financial markets have changed since they (KGLI-NM) made the offer," Erramon Aboitiz, Aboitiz chief operating officer told reporters by phone. "They asked for more time to fix their finances." The 49% ownership is broken down as follows: 35% from AEV, 7.2% from ACO and 6.8% free float. Transaction closing is expected on or before April 30, 2009.



March 31 – AEV and ACO received from KGLI-NM a notice that the latter has decided to exercise its option to acquire 32% stake (from previous 49%) by end-April. The new deal involves 790.8 million shares of ATS priced at P1.84 per share, or equivalent to P1.46 billion. In a statement, AEV said that "the actual number of shares to be acquired by KGLI-NM will be determined based on the dollar exchange rate on closing date, which is expected to occur on April 30, 2009."

April 30 – KGLI-NM informed AEV and ACO that it will not proceed with the purchase of the ATS shares, citing current constraints in the debt markets as the reason for its decision. Previous agreements were terminated and the P100 million option money paid by KGLI-NM to AEV and ACO (P82.88 million for AEV and P17.12 million for ACO) was deemed forfeited.