Razon takes lead of Manila Water

MANILA WATER Co. Inc. is now led by ports tycoon Enrique K. Razon, Jr. after his Trident Water Co. Holdings, Inc. completed its tender offer on June 3.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Friday, Manila Water announced that Trident Water led by Mr. Razon now has 51% voting interest in the east zone water concessionaire.

The water provider also disclosed that Mr. Razon was appointed as its director, chairman of the board of directors, president and chief executive officer, and chairman and member of the executive committee, effective June 3.

In turn, Manila Water said Fernando Zobel de Ayala stepped down as its chairman of the board of directors, chairman and member of the executive committee, and member of the talent and remuneration committee.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala also vacated his post as Manila Water’s vice chairman and director.

The water concessionaire also announced that Jose Rene Gregory D. Almendras also stepped down as its president and chief executive officer after the appointment of Mr. Razon.

“The entry of Trident, which is a part of Prime Strategic Holdings Inc. of the Razon Group, into Manila Water will further strengthen the company,” the disclosure said.

Manila Water’s new leadership include Donato C. Almeda as chief regulatory officer; Rafael D. Consing, Jr. as member of the executive committee; and Roberto R. Locsin as chief administrative officer.

Ayala Corp. said in a separate stock exchange disclosure that Trident Water’s economic and voting stakes in Manila Water are now at 25% and 51%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Ayala Corp.’s direct and indirect economic interest in Manila Water is at 38.6% while its voting interest is at 31.6%.

In February 2020, Razon-led Prime Metroline Holdings Inc. — now known as Prime Strategic Holdings Inc. — on behalf of Trident Water, signed a subscription agreement with Manila Water for 820 million common shares at P13 per share.

Further, Manila Water’s subsidiary Philwater Holdings Co. Inc. granted proxy rights to Trident Water over its number of preferred shares to enable the Razon-led unit to achieve 51% voting interest in the water concessionaire.

In February this year, Philwater Holdings and Trident Water executed a share purchase agreement to allow the latter to purchase 2.69 billion preferred shares of the former in Manila Water.

For the first quarter of the year, Manila Water posted an 8% decline in its attributable net income to P1.30 billion as a result of the low contribution from its east zone concession area. The company’s consolidated operating revenues dropped 12% to P4.85 billion.

On Friday, shares of Manila Water at the stock exchange rose 0.27% or four centavos to close at P14.88 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave