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KGLI-NM Holdings shows renewed interest in Aboitiz Transport System buy

PLANS by Aboitiz Equity Ventures to sell the Philippines’ largest domestic shipping company, Aboitiz Transport System, are back on after Dutch company KGL investment and local partner Negros Holdings and Management agreed to take an initial 32% stake. Aboitiz Transport System confirmed that KGLI-NM Holdings would buy $30m worth of shares at a price of Pesos1.84 each. Under the terms of the deal, Aboitiz Equity Ventures would sell nearly 655.4m shares in Aboitiz Transport System, while Aboitiz & Co would almost 135.4m shares. The share purchase is expected to be completed by the end of this month. KGLI-NM had planned to acquire Aboitiz’s 93% stake in Aboitiz Transport System for Pesos4.5bn ($94m) last year, although it later scaled back its ambitions and instead pledged to buy a 49% stake. But even this revised plan ran into problems because the consortium could not raise the necessary finance. Instead, KGLI-NM has opted for a smaller 32% interest, which was outlined in a December pact. Aboitiz Group confirmed that it had been notified that KGLI-NM Holdings would exercise its option under the term sheet agreement on December 19 to acquire at least $30m worth of shares in Aboitiz Transport System. Aboitiz Transport lawyer Leah Geraldes said KGLI-NM still has an option to complete the purchase of all the remaining shares in the shipping company that controls Superferry, Supercat and MCC Transport Philippines. The Aboitiz Transport ship management and crewing joint venture with Norway’s Jebsen group is not part of the deal.

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