AEV says units exit Sri Lanka, files P12-B bonds

ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) said on Tuesday that its subsidiaries had agreed to sell their 100% equity interest in Gold Coin Feed Mills (Lanka) Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of animal feed products in Sri Lanka.

The listed holding firm disclosed to the stock exchange that its units Gold Coin Management Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Glen Arbor Holdings Pte. Ltd. entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with New Anthoney’s Farms (PVT) Ltd.

“Following the signing of the agreement and subject to completion of conditions precedent, the transaction is expected to be completed by the year-end of 2022,” AEV said.

“The exit from Sri Lanka is aligned with the Aboitiz Group’s direction to grow its animal feeds business in other parts of the SouthEast Asia and China markets,” the firm added.

New Anthoney’s Farms said on its website that it is one of the leading frozen chicken manufacturing and poultry farming companies in Sri Lanka.

Glen Arbor and Gold Coin Management are AEV’s Singapore-based subsidiaries whose shares are held through Pilmico International Pte. Ltd.

In a separate disclosure, AEV said that it had filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue fixed-rate retail bonds with an aggregate principal amount of up to P12 billion, including oversubscription.

The application consists of the issuance of the final tranche of its P30-billion shelf registration program in 2019 amounting to P7.45 billion and the first tranche of the new P30-billion shelf-registered debt amounting to up to P4.55 billion.

AEV said proceeds from the bonds will partially fund the company’s equity contribution to its subsidiary Aboitiz Infracapital, Inc. and for the repayment of the parent company’s outstanding bonds.

“[Aboitiz Infracapital] will use such amount to acquire interest in GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.,” the firm said.

The bonds are expected to be offered to the public in the fourth quarter, subject to market conditions, and are intended to be listed with the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp.

AEV said the P12-billion bonds received a credit rating of PRS Aaa with a stable outlook from the Philippine Rating Services Corp. (PhilRatings), which also maintained the issue credit rating of PRS Aaa with a stable outlook for the firm’s total outstanding bonds.

Bonds with a PRS Aaa rating are of the highest quality with minimal credit risk, indicating the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment “is extremely strong.” A stable outlook means that the rating is likely to be maintained or to stay unchanged in the next 12 months.

On Tuesday, Aboitiz Equity shares lost P2.40 or 4.18% to P55.05 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile