Manila Water acquires minority stake in Thai company for P8.6 billion

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Manila Water Philippine Ventures, Inc.'s newly-bagged 25-year franchise in San Fabian, Pangasinan is set to be operational by 2019.

MANILA WATER Co., Inc. on Thursday said it has completed the deal to acquire a minority stake in a Thai company for P8.6 billion.

Ferdinand M. dela Cruz, Manila Water president and chief executive officer, described the acquisition of Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Co. Ltd. (East Water) as “effectively cementing our entry into Thailand.”

“This perfectly aligns with our internationalization strategy, as we place primary focus on Southeast Asia,” he said in a statement.

Manila Water bought an 18.72% stake in East Water for 5.23 billion Thai baht or around P8.6 billion.

Manila Water told the stock exchange that the deal took place after the close of the Thailand stock market on March 14, 2018 following the confirmation by the Thailand Ministry of Commerce of the appointment of Virgilio C. Rivera, Jr. as a member of the board of directors of East Water.

Mr. Rivera is Manila Water’s new business operations chief operating officer, and chairman of the board of Manila Water (Thailand) Co. Ltd.

“With Mr. Rivera representing us on East Water’s Board of Directors, we are very excited to work with East Water on the many growth opportunities we see in the pipeline,” Mr. Dela Cruz said.

Manila Water said with the acquisition, earnings contribution from East Water would immediately be recognized in Manila Water’s books.

East Water provides raw water supply to three provinces, operates seven tap water concessions, and provides water service to several industrial estates. These areas cover 13,285 square kilometers, which is almost as large as Calabarzon, the region made up the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. — Victor V. Saulon