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Tanco takes 40% stake in PWU


MANILA, Philippines - The group of businessman Eusebio Tanco has acquired a 40-percent stake in the Philippine Women’s University (PWU), one of the oldest universities in the country, from the Benitez clan for P450 million.

In a press briefing yesterday, Tanco said the move would further deepen his group’s expansion into education.

The acquisition includes the Jose Abad Santos Memorial School (JASMS) and the Quezon City campus of PWU. The Davao City campus, however, is not part of the deal.

The present board, led by PWU president Jose Francisco Benitez, will retain the remaining 60-percent equity in the university.

 The Tanco Group owns i-Academy and the flagship STI Colleges, both leading proponents of information technology-based academic curricula in the country. Annexing PWU, which specializes in liberal arts and humanities courses, will add a different facet in the group eucation portfolio.

Aside from schools, the group is also into port operation through Asian Terminals Inc; property development, life and non-life insurance, power generation and distribution, securities trading, tourism and resorts, textiles and manufacturing.

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Industry sources said Tanco would provide the financial muscle for the much-needed rehabilitation and renovation of the PWU facilities, particularly the main Taft Ave. campus.

However, they told The STAR that for PWU to realize more significant changes, it must surrender more equity to the Tanco Group.

 Tanco said he was looking at rehabilitating the existing structures and add an “intelligent” building, one that maximizes information technology and other electronic advancements.

 Sources at the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), meanwhile, said that Tanco would likely form a new company to run PWU, which could eventually be listed in the bourse.

Just recently, JTH Davies Inc., a publicly-listed company controlled by Tanco, has changed its by-laws to allow it to invest and acquire real properties and any company or institution. The move, though, is also seen as prelude to the backdoor listing of STI, and could include PWU.

Founded in 1983, STI has a network of over 100 college campuses around the country. It also has seven grade schools in Metro Manila and northern Luzon.

For the year, STI expects enrollees to hit 67,000 to 68,000, from last year’s 65,000 in 65 campuses nationwide.

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