By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 8, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) should conduct its initial public offering (IPO) in two years as mandated under a concession agreement with the government.
The private grid operator has two years left to comply with the IPO mandate since it was awarded the concession agreement in 2009, National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) president Melvin Matibag said.
Under the agreement, NGCP was given 10 years to comply with the public listing requirement. Meanwhile, the franchise granted by Congress calls for an IPO of at least 10 to 20 percent of its stake.
NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza said the company is committed to conduct an IPO within the mandated period and is currently working to get it done.
“As for the IPO, it’s a requirement of the franchise,” she said.
Previously, NGCP was supposed to do a backdoor listing through publicly listed Synergy Grid and Development Philippines Inc. Under the share swap deal, shares of Henry Sy Jr.’s One Taipan Holdings and Robert Coyiuto Jr.’s Pacifica21 Holdings Inc. – the two companies that control NGCP – would be swapped with new shares of Synergy Grid.
However, the transaction was cancelled since they were unable to obtain a tax-free ruling. NGCP will instead conduct an IPO.
In the process, Matibag said TransCo will get shares back to government to have a board seat in NGCP.
He said he would make a proposal to Congress to take a look at the private concessionaire’s agreement with government and put a permanent representative from government to monitor day-to-day operations.
However, Alabanza said this cannot be done since NGCP is not a government owned or controlled corporation. It also does not form part of its agreement with government or by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
“In government corporations, there are positions in the board that are ex-officio, or by virtue of your position in government, you get a seat in the board. But NGCP is not a government owned or controlled corporation. It’s a completely private corporation and the laws on corporations apply,” she said.