22 May 2014

APO to operate ecozone in Subic

ANGLO Philippine Holdings Corp. (APO) will operate an economic zone from its property inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Bataan.

Adrian Arias, Anglo Philippine executive vice president, said necessary paperwork and representations have already been made with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to accredit the property, with a size of about 300 hectares. When completed, the development will be the country’s newest ecozone.

He said the company expects to secure the necessary approvals within the year. Arias said APO acquired the said property, situated in Tipo Valley in Bataan, from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority for about P250 million to P290 million. The company may spend the same amount to develop the area.

The said project is expected to attract locators from the Subic Bay Freeport, which is a favored destination of logistics and manufacturing companies as the area has a sea and air gateways, and direct access to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.

Arias said many locators in Subic wanted to expand operations, while many more want to come in but the free port’s developed area is already full. “All of the available spaces in Subic are already [parceled in] smaller cuts. So we thought, why not develop since the land is already there,” Arias said.

“If we ever get into it, we will probably [develop the property in] phases,” Arias said, adding that it may take 10 to 15 years before the company will realize gains from the said project.

APO has a huge stack of cash in its coffers after the private placement of majority shareholder, the Ramos family’s Alakor Corp., resulted in about P4.2 billion in fresh funds.

The bulk of this amount—or about P1.6 billion—will be spent to buy additional shares in The Philodrill Corp. to increase shareholding to 34.3 percent from 11.8 percent.

The remaining cash will be used to pay maturing debts, acquire more dividend-yielding asset and boost other assets, such as APO’s economic interest in the TriNoma shopping mall in Quezon City.

The company has investments in United Paragon Mining Corp., Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., Philodrill, North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp., MRT Development Corp., MRT Holdings Inc., Brightnote Asset Corp. and Filipinas Energy Corp. (VG Cabuag, Business Mirror)