Aboitiz Is Said in Advanced Talks to Buy Ayala Power Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Aboitiz Power Corp. is in advanced talks to acquire stakes in some of Ayala Corp.’s thermal power assets, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The companies aim to announce a deal as soon as the coming weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Ayala, which has a market value of about $10.5 billion, and Aboitiz are still in discussions on the structure of the transaction, according to the people.

Shares of Aboitiz Power fell as much as 3.4 percent in early Manila trading Monday. They were down 1 percent to 36.25 pesos at 11:25 a.m., compared to a 0.4 percent gain in the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index.

Ayala, the oldest conglomerate in the Philippines, said earlier this year it was planning to sell as much as half of its thermal power business to help fund expansion in Southeast Asia. Its energy unit’s portfolio, which derives 84 percent of its attributable capacity from coal, is valued at 135 billion pesos ($2.5 billion), according to a February research report from CLSA Ltd.

A deal could still be delayed or fall apart, the people said. Any transaction would add to the $31.1 billion in acquisitions of Asian energy and power assets announced this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Aboitiz Power’s chief strategy officer, Luis Miguel Aboitiz, declined to comment. Eric Francia, president of Ayala’s AC Energy Inc. unit, also declined to comment.

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