By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter
PEPSI-COLA Products Philippines, Inc. has suspended the tender offer of its shares by Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. Ltd. due to a possible change in the transfer procedure.
In a letter to the exchange publicly disclosed on Thursday, Lotte Chilsung said it suspended its ongoing tender offer of Pepsi-Cola Philippines for two days, and will be relaunched on Monday, Oct. 12.
This decision was due to an advice by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that Lotte Chilsung will need to conduct the tender offer through facilities outside the bourse.
First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp., the tender offer agent of Lotte Chilsung, was supposedly verbally told by the PSE that the company’s on-exchange transaction cannot be approved because the shares being tendered are below the minimum public ownership requirement and are currently suspended from trading.
“As a result thereof, the tendered shares cannot be crossed as an on-exchange transaction, and the transfer of such shares will be conducted outside the facilities of the PSE,” it said.
“[Lotte Chilsung] deems it prudent to suspend the conduct of the delisting tender offer pending settlement and finalization of the mechanics of the off-exchange transaction,” it added.
Minority shareholders from whom the shares are being bought may withdraw their shares through First Metro Securities.
Lotte Chilsung is currently buying 77.86 million common shares in Pepsi-Cola Philippines through a tender offer. This is after Lotte Chilsung bought 1.13 billion shares in the listed company earlier this year, which brought the company’s public ownership below the PSE’s minimum requirement.
Falling below the minimum public ownership requirement is a ground for delisting. Pepsi-Cola Philippines decided last month to delist its shares from the bourse, as it is unable to comply with the minimum public float in the prevailing market condition, it said.
Shares in Pepsi-Cola Philippines stopped trading on June 17, when it closed at P1.70 apiece.