ERC to grid operator: go public as scheduled

By Angelica Y. Yang, Reporter

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will not be moving the deadline for National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP)’s initial public offering, adding that the privately held firm has to submit all listing requirements on or before Nov. 14.

“The six (6) months period provided in [our previous] order dated March 10, 2021 remains the same, thus, the Nov. 14, 2021 deadline set forth in the said order is maintained,” ERC told NGCP in a recent order, a copy of which was obtained by BusinessWorld.

The new order, dated Aug. 11, was signed by ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Agnes VST Devanadera.

ERC said it still has to see “actual compliance” from NGCP on its obligation to fulfill its public listing requirement under its franchise.

“NGCP has not yet complied with its primary obligation to list, nor has it submitted proof of listing by any of the companies owning or controlling it,” the commission said.

It issued its latest order in response to NGCP’s earlier petition to the ERC to clarify the regulator’s earlier order that tackled the requirements in the public listing of companies with at least 30% ownership of outstanding shares in NGCP.

“The Commission hereby clarifies that NGCP can undertake public listing or in substitution, submit proof of the listing of any company in the PSE (Philippine Stock Exchange) which owns or controls at least 30% of its outstanding capital stock, as these manners of compliance are expressly provided under R.A. (Republic Act) No. 9511 (NGCP’s franchise),” the ERC said.

In March, Bloomberg reported that NGCP had increased its initial public offering (IPO) size to at least $1.5 billion, and has chosen the Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and UBS Group AG to work on the one-time share sale.

Three months ago, the grid operator said it was on schedule to proceed with its planned IPO shortly after the ERC gave it a six-month extension to fulfill its listing requirements.

NGCP, which maintains the country’s electricity transmission assets, is the sole operating asset of listed holdings firm Synergy Grid & Development Phils., Inc.

In a filing with the stock exchange on Thursday, Synergy Grid said its board of directors had greenlit two amendments in the firm’s articles of incorporation, including its term, which was revised to have “perpetual existence.”

Based on its quarterly report, the Henry T. Sy, Jr.-led company said its attributable income to equity holders of the parent firm reached P5.10 billion in the first half, higher by 12% year on year compared with P4.56 billion previously.

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