Expect more M&A deals in Philippines, says ING
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — More merger and acquisition (M&A) deals are expected to happen in the Philippines amid the country’s growing economy, according to Dutch financial giant ING Bank NV.

Hans Sicat, country manager of ING Bank Manila, said 2018 was a good year for deal making in the Philippines as the bank participated in six deals worth $9.2 billion from October 2017 to September.

The value of the six major deals this year was 60 times the value of the three deals amounting to $153.8 million from October 2016 to October.

“We continue to strongly demonstrate to our clients, particularly local conglomerates that need to grow bigger through mergers and acquisitions, that ING not only has the depth of sector experience and strong relationships with major local players, but also significant on-the-ground presence,” Sicat said.

This placed the total M&A transactions handled by ING Bank to more than $26 billion since ING Bank Manila Branch started operating in 1990.

ING acted as the financial advisor for the $6.5 billion restructuring of the food and beverage business of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), the $1.9-billion divestment of AES and EGCO’s combined 100 percent stake in Masinloc to SMC Global Power, and AC Energy’s $579-million divestment of its stake in AA Thermal Inc. to Aboitiz Power Corp.

Other deals include Citicore Power’s 100 percent acquisition of Armstrong Asset Management’s 59.9-megawatt solar power plant portfolio in the Philippines, Manila Water’s $167-million acquisition of a 18.72 percent stake in Eastern Water Resources in Thailand, and Alsons’ $86-million sale of 50 percent stake in Alsons Thermal Energy Corp. to Global Business Power.

Sicat said close collaboration between ING’s local and overseas teams have enabled the bank to deliver quality advisory service to clients.

“Our significant presence in the Philippines is a boost to our customer-centric approach, helped by our deep understanding of the local market and strong relationships with key players and regulators in the country. This is complemented by our strong international network which provides a view of regional developments across industries,” he said.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo earlier said in a speech the reforms undertaken by the Philippines propelled the economy to an impressive streak of 79 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted growth.

“That means 19 years and three quarters since the first quarter of 1999. Moreover, the structural reforms have been translated into higher potential output for the economy.

Guinigundo said estimates showed potential output growth has been rising, averaging six percent for the period 2010 to 2017.

“So the talk about the large output gap is without basis. Our output gap is either a small positive or a small negative. So the issues about overheating is quite misplaced,” Guinigundo said.

ING BANK MERGER AND ACQUISITION
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