Billionaire Enrique Razon offered last Friday to buy the remaining shares of Manila Water at 13 pesos each, reports Bloomberg. On Monday February 3rd, Razon bought a 25% stake in Manila Water. The stock closed at P13.28 per share on Friday (up 9.2% from P12.16 early in the week, then down 11.2% from Thursday’s P14.96).
The week-on-week increase has been attributed to ‘positive investor sentiment’ following Razon’s entry into the company, according to Business World. Darren Blaine T. Pangan from Timson Securities said that ‘Foreigners have also been net buying on the stock throughout the week except on Friday as some investors chose to take profits’. Yesterday, Manila Water shares went up to P14.60 each before closing at P12.76.
Friday’s offer came a day after Ayala Corp. announced its subsidiary Philwater Holdings Co. will grant proxy rights to Razon’s Trident Water, with a 51% voting interest in Manila Water after the transaction. Thus, Ayala’s effective voting interest in the water company would go down to 31.6%.
Razon gains control of Manila Water just before key negotiations take place with Duterte’s government. The President pointed a finger to the capital city’s two water suppliers, Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services, for profiting from unfair provisions in their contracts, which were set to run until 2037. Duterte warned the water companies to accept new water contracts, or else the state could take control of their operations.