MANILA, March 5 (Reuters) - Manila Electric Co (Meralco)
and Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Co Ltd
will buy a 70 percent stake in a power company in Singapore for
S$600 million ($481 million), the Philippine firm said on
It will be Meralco's first power venture outside the
Philippines, where it is the largest power utility, as it seeks
to transform itself into a regional power distributor. It is
also looking at investments in other Southeast Asian countries.
Meralco and its controlling shareholder, First Pacific, have
formed a joint venture to acquire control of GMR Energy
(Singapore) Pte Ltd from India's GMR Infrastructure Ltd
. The Indian firm on Monday announced its exit from its
power project in Singapore.
GMR Energy, which is 30 percent owned by Petronas of
Malaysia, is constructing a natural gas power plant on
Jurong island in Singapore.
Meralco said in a statement an additional investment of
about S$60 million in the project is envisaged. The closing of
the transaction is subject to the fulfilment of certain terms
and conditions within the next 30 days.
Shares in Meralco, part-owned by Philippine conglomerate San
Miguel Corp, rose as much as 2.5 percent after the
announcement, outperforming the benchmark index's 0.4 percent
(Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Matt Driskill)