Udenna Corporation founder, chairman, and CEO Dennis Uy is said to consider selling his stakes in the Malampaya gas-to-power project.
Based on a report from Reuters, Uy is looking to sell the 45% of Malampaya, which Udenna acquired from Chevron in March 2020 and the 45% purchased from Shell Philippines Exploration (SPEX) in May 2021, according to sources who declined to be identified.
The Chevron stake, purchased for $565 million, became the subject of intense discussions in the Senate with lawmakers questioning how the purchase was done. It eventually led Senate Committee on Energy chairman Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian to recommend the filing of charges against Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi.
Udenna’s purchase of SPEX for $460 million also did not escape controversy.
Malampaya, the Philippines’ only major source of indigenous fuel, accounts for a third of Luzon’s power needs and at least a fifth of the entire country’s.
Aside from the Malampaya shares, Uy is also said to be eyeing the sale of his assets in the Clark Global City in Pampanga.
The sources added that buyers were also eyeing Phoenix Petroleum, the country’s third largest oil firm, as well as Uy’s telecommunications firm DITO.
Uy was one of outgoing Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s top financiers in the 2016 elections.
Among the preferred bidders for Uy’s Malampaya stake, according to one Reuters source, is fellow tycoon Enrique Razon — owner of Prime Infra and the Philippines’ second richest man, based on Forbes magazine’s latest list
In a statement, Udenna President Raymundo Martin Escalona said the company “has always remained open to exploring different opportunities” and that “there has been a renewed interest in discussing several partnership and strategic alliance opportunities within the group” given the country’s “better-than-expected” gross domestic product growth of 8.3% in the first quarter of the year.