Philippines' JG Summit raises $280 mln by cutting food unit stake
MANILA Oct 4 (Reuters) - Philippine conglomerate JG Summit Holdings on Friday said it raised 12.1 billion pesos ($280 million) by selling some of its stake in Universal Robina Corp to help fund the purchase of part of the country's biggest power utility.
JG Summit, founded by billionaire John Gokongwei, is entering electricity distribution to benefit from a likely rise in power demand as the economy expands. Gokongwei also founded URC.
JG Summit, in a disclosure to the stock exchange, said it will hold 55.7 percent of URC after selling 105 million shares, or 12 percent of URC's outstanding stock, through an accelerated overnight equity placement at 115 pesos per share.
The price reflected a discount of 6.5 percent to the shares' Thursday closing price. The shares, which have risen more than 40 percent this year, ended Friday morning trade nearly 5 percent lower at 117.10 pesos.
Shares of JG Summit were 3.2 percent higher, outpacing the benchmark index which was 0.2 percent lower.
JG Summit sold URC shares to raise funds for a $1.65 billion purchase of 27 percent of Manila Electric Co, JG Summit investor relations officer Bach Johann Sebastian told Reuters.
JG Summit has interests in food and drink manufacturing, banking, real estate, airlines and petrochemicals. The Meralco buy would be its first in the power sector.
($1 = 43.08 Philippine pesos) (Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
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