Philphos sold to Alvarez group
() - December 1, 2000 - 12:00am
The Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. (Philphos) became officially privatized last Wednesday when chairman Jose "Pepito" Alvarez of Delphi Holdings, Inc. signed the sale agreement with Asset Privatization Trust (APT) chief executive trustee Renato Valdecantos.

Present during the signing held at the Shangri-La Makati were National Treasurer Leonor Briones, Republic of Nauru President Bernard Dowigogo, Consul Ken Walker of Nauru, Philphos vice president for finance Dennis Mate, APT associate executive trustee Raymundo Francisco and APT associate executive trustee Quin Baterna who supervised the sale.

The total proceeds from the transaction is P3.025 billion, representing 45 percent shares of stock, receivables and securities of the National Government in the fertilizer firm. The amount is expected to help alleviate the budget deficit which stood at P95.5 billion as of Oct. 31, 2000.

After the signing, Alvarez paid and turned over the first P2 billion to the Bureau of Treasury represented by Briones while the remaining P1.025 billion is payable within the next two years.

Valdecantos said he was satisfied with the sale while Briones said "the amount is a welcome addition to our national revenue."

Following its privatization, 45 percent of Philphos is now owned by Delphi Holdings and 50 percent by the government of Nauru. The government plans to sell the remaining five percent stake to small investors.

The fertilizer plant of Philphos is located on a 180-hectare complex in Isabel, Leyte. It is the most advanced phosphatic fertilizer manufacturing facility in Asia, capable of producing one million metric tons of various fertilizer grades. Philphos accounts for 70 percent of local fertilizer consumption, while 30 percent is exported mostly to China and Vietnam.

Alvarez said his company’s bid of P3.025 billion is a big gamble as "there is no certainty of a reasonable return on investment in the next seven years." He said Vietnam is building a fertilizer plant of its own and this will reduce the export market of Philphos.

ALVAREZ ALVAREZ OF DELPHI HOLDINGS ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST BRIONES BUREAU OF TREASURY CHINA AND VIETNAM CONSUL KEN WALKER OF NAURU DELPHI HOLDINGS PHILPHOS
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