By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla – Reporter / @philbizwatcher
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. has cemented its controlling interest in Prime Orion Philippines Inc. (POPI), owner and developer of the popular bazaar hub in Divisoria, Tutuban Center, with the purchase of additional shares that boosted its stake to 55.2 percent from 51 percent.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, POPI said ALI had purchased 202.77 million additional shares of the company at P2.45 per share from Genez Investments Corp., equivalent to a 4.14 percent additional interest.
The acquisition, which was executed through a block sale on the PSE on Friday, amounted to P496.8 million,
Previous to this transaction, ALI held a 51.06 percent stake in POPI.
ALI bought into POPI in 2016, thereby providing the financial muscle to redevelop Tutuban Center and double its retail space to ride on robust consumer spending in the country. ALI earlier bought an initial 2.5 billion new shares issued by POPI out of the increase in authorized capital stock for P2.25 per share.
Among the key units under POPI is Tutuban Properties Inc., which holds the lease and development rights over a 20-hectare market district in downtown Divisoria, the country’s oldest and biggest trading district. This is where the Tutuban Center, an integrated wholesale and retail complex recognized as the premier shopper’s bargain district, is located.