GT Capital acquires 22.7% of Profriends

GT Capital Holdings, Inc., the listed holding company of business tycoon George Ty, is acquiring a 22.68-percent stake in mass housing developer Property Company of Friends Inc. for P7.24 billion.

GT Capital said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the agreement gave the company an option to increase its direct shareholdings in PCFI to 51 percent within the next three years.

GT Capital’s acquisition followed the difficulty of PCFI in securing approval from the Philippine Stock Exchange to proceed with a P7.7-billion initial public offering.

PCFI, a unit of Profriends Group Inc., filed an application in 2014 to hold an IPO. PCFI recently pulled out the plan to sell its shares to the public.

GT Capital’s acquisition marks the conglomerate’s venture into the mass housing development and is expected to complement its real estate develop unit Federal Land Inc.

“We view this acquisition as a mutually beneficial partnership for both parties. PCFI has the product expertise and the strategic land bank, while GT Capital has the financial resources and access to capital. Our partnership adds a new dimension to GT Capital’s property development portfolio and will enable our group to be one of the market leaders in the low-cost housing sector,” GT Capital chairman Francisco Sebastian said.

PCFI chairman Guillermo Choa welcomed the company’s partnership with GT Capital.

“The low-cost housing segment is the real sweet spot in the country’s property sector, with a supply shortage of over three million homes, which continues to grow annually,” Choa said.

“Our partnership with GT Capital will strengthen our ability to be a leading player in serving this urgent market need. Moreover, the potential synergies of working with other component companies in the GT Capital group will enable us to offer our live, work, learn, play, and worship estates to many more middle income Filipino families,” he added.

Federal Land president Alfred Ty said the acquisition would expand the group’s presence in the property market.

“The GT Capital group will now offer Federal Land’s upper- mid to high-end vertical projects and PCFI’s low-cost horizontal and mixed-use townships in key areas near Metro Manila. Our strategic tie-up will, thus, be a fusion of all property sub-segments,” Ty said.

Established in 1999, PCFI is today one of the country’s leading property developers, focusing on the low-cost and economic housing segments, and retail and office space leasing.

PCFI reported an audited net income after tax of P3.61 billion in 2014.

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