EconomyEditor's PickPetron offers to buy back $50-M securities

January 4, 2023

Petron Corp. is offering to purchase up to $50 million of its outstanding senior perpetual capital securities at the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd.

In a regulatory filing, Petron announced that it intends to buy part of its $500-million outstanding US dollar-denominated debt issued on Jan. 19, 2018. It said the decision is still subject to some conditions, which it did not specify.

Petron said its tender offer to holders of the securities is payable at a price to be determined in its sole discretion above the minimum purchase price. It placed the minimum at $927 per $1,000 in the principal amount of the securities.

It said the tender offer aims to optimize its capital structure and provide liquidity to investors at a premium to market price.

Petron set a timeline of two weeks from the start of the offer period until the payment date. It set the start date on Jan. 4, with the expiration deadline on Jan. 12, unless extended or terminated by the company. The payment date is scheduled on Jan. 18.

“Tender instructions are irrevocable and must be submitted in respect of a minimum principal amount of securities of no less than the minimum denomination of $200,000, and integral multiples of $1,000,” Petron said.

At the local bourse on Wednesday, shares in the company closed 1.27% higher or P2.40 apiece.

SMC RESCUES FARMERS’ HARVESTSeparately, Petron’s parent firm San Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it had rescued farmers’ produce weighing more than 1.7 kilograms (kg) since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

In a media release on Wednesday, the listed conglomerate said the initiative is in partnership with Rural Rising Ph (RuRi), a social enterprise that fosters rural prosperity through agri-entrepreneurship.

“Food security remains to be one of the pressing concerns today and in the coming years, and we are happy to help bridge the gap between farmers and end-consumers by ensuring farmers get better-than-farmgate prices for their agricultural produce to earn higher incomes while offering these directly to consumers, including our employees,” said Ramon S. Ang, SMC president and chief executive officer.

SMC said the partnership with RuRi has lifted the incomes of around 4,500 farmers from Luzon while providing consumers with fruits and vegetables at affordable prices. The rescued produce came from farmers who are struggling to sell their harvest.

Mr. Ang said the partnership also allows the company “to provide a steady supply of fruits and vegetables to our adopted communities in Tondo through our Better World Tondo community center.”

SMC said that from the rescued produce, its Better World Diliman donated more than 14,000 kg, including chayote, cabbage, lemons, and watermelons to Tondo-based communities since 2020. Its Box-All-You-Can activities at SMC head office yielded 2,260 kg of fruits and vegetables sold to employees.

Aside from boosting farmers’ income, the initiative is also meant to prevent food waste, and ensure food security during the pandemic, it added.

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