Four major foreign banks will reportedly fund Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s $460 million acquisition of the 45% stake of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.
Based on a Manila Bulletin report, the lenders are the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), Deutsche Bank, San Francisco-based Farallon Capital, Netherlands-based ING Bank, citing highly-placed sources.
The said sources noted that these banks were also the same set of lenders in Udenna’s $565 million acquisition of Chevron’s other 45% stake in Malampaya last year.
Udenna is set to control Malampaya after it bought Shell’s stake by acquiring SPEX back in May. Pending government approvals, Udenna aims to complete the purchase by year’s end.
Shell said that the sale of its Malampaya stake to Udenna went through a well-documented and structured bidding process participated in by local and international companies.
The oil giant added that the winning bidder, Udenna’s Malampaya Energy XP, submitted the most compelling bid across a number of considerations, which included the offer price; access to technical capacity; financing facilities from reputable lenders; comprehensiveness of transition plan; and retention of SPEX staff with comparable compensation and benefits.
The sources also said the lenders have been questioned on Udenna’s ability to honor financial obligations. All of them rated the Uy-led firm as a “good payer” and that economic due diligence on the asset being divested correspondingly justified the price tender that Udenna gave.
They also added that Shell studied Udenna’s bid carefully to see any hints of Chinese monetary intervention in the asset purchase, but they have not seen any so far.
Photo from Chelsea Logistics website.