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Listed realty developer Sta. Lucia Land, Inc. (Sta. Lucia Land) recently said it eyes to raise between $100 million to $150 million through a follow-on offering that will increase the company’s float as required under PSE’s rule.

While the offer may have been spurred by a mandatory level of public ownership for listed companies, Sta. Lucia officials said the company also needs the fund to finance its projects which are diversifying from their specialty of horizontal development.

David M. dela Cruz, Sta. Lucia Land corporate finance and investor relations head, said that the company has been noted as developer of subdivisions outside Metro Manila, making its project popular with overseas Filipino workers. About 50 percent of the Sta. Lucia group’s sales come from OFW, said dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz said this advantage helped them to be invited by landowners to develop their properties, allowing them to develop over 9,000 hectares of property nationwide.

“But our projects only involves land. (Now) we are also looking at house and lot project. That is something Sta. Lucia Land wants to go into,” said Dela Cruz.

The company, formerly known as Zipporah Mining and Industrial Corp., is majority-owned by Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Corp., (Sta. Lucia Group) which owns 95 percent of the listed company’s outstanding shares.

Since being acquired by the Robles and Santos family-led firm in 2007, Sta. Lucia has received several assets from Sta. Lucia Group. Recently, the Sta. Lucia Group assigned to Sta. Lucia Land its 12.09 percent interest in the Philippine Racing Club, Inc., which in its recent disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange said it has partnered with Ayala Land, Inc. to develop its 21-hectare old racing course in Makati City.

Dela Cruz said the Sta. Lucia Group currently has a total of 8 million square meters of developable land in its portfolio distributed in various parts of the country like Davao, Cebu, Cavite, and Manila, among others.

The company is looking to increase its portfolio of horizontal projects, starting with the five-tower mid- to high-rise building that will be constructed in the 11-hectare area around the company’s mall, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, in Rizal.

The project will be a mix of residential and commercial area. Sta. Lucia in early February said it expects to sell about 3,600 residential units this year with its plan to enhance activities.

The company has embarked in an P11 billion capital expenditure for the next five years that will increase the company’s inventory of units in the residential, office, and commercial space.

Sta. Lucia currently has projects like the 150-hectare joint-venture development, The Mesilo Residences, in Trece Martires, Cavite in partnership with Jaka Properties.

The company is also looking at the 17-hectare South Grove, a high end residential subdivision in Davao in partnership with JS Gaizano Inc.

There is also the Luxurre Residences in Alfonso Cavite near Tagaytay, and the Sugarland Residential Estates, also in Trece Martires.

The Sta. Lucia Grand Mall is also being eyed to have a BPO component, with some BPO companies talking with Sta. Lucia, seen to help the company maximize its space utilization and increase traffic of the mall.

Dela Cruz said the Sta. Lucia Land’s planned offering might be held at the end of the year, hopefully increasing the company’s current public float by 15 to 30 percent more from the current five percent.

The planned share offering may further increase “depending on how much the existing shareholders are willing to let sell,” according to him.

Eyed as underwriters for the offer is investment bank Asian Alliance for the Philippine portion of the offer, while Sta. Lucia is still discussing the matters with UBS for the international offer.

Dela Cruz said the share offer will also carry primary shares.

 

BY ALBERT CASTRO
http://www.malaya.com.ph/mar17/property2.html

 

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