Vista Land to acquire Starmalls; 9-month profit hits Php5-B

MANILA, Nov. 10 (PNA) — Villar-led homebuilder Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL) will acquire a controlling 88.25-percent stake in sister company Starmalls, Inc. from the Fine Group for Php33.53 billion, in a bid to transform itself into a fully integrated property developer.

Vista Land president and chief executive officer Manuel Paolo Villar said Starmalls Inc. owns and operates 10 retail malls in key cities and municipalities and two business process outsourcing (BPO) commercial centers in Metro Manila with a combined gross floor area of 509,385 square meters.

It also has four retail malls and one BPO commercial center currently under construction which are expected to be completed next year. These projects will bring the company’s total gross leasable area to around 800,000 square meters.

“That puts a significant amount of return in revenue and makes us essentially the top 4 integrated real estate developer. Without question, that changes the dynamics of Vista Land from a residential developer to an integrated developer that has both malls, commercial property and residential (projects),” he said in a press briefing.

Villar expects the acquisition can increase Vista Land’s total assets by 29 percent from Php123.3 billion to Php158.9 billion.

“This acquisition introduces a recurring revenue source that adds stability to our existing operations. As we integrate both platforms, the complementary nature of residential and commercial developments will enable us to achieve higher selling prices, increased sales velocity and higher retail rental rates from our improved integrated product offering, as well as lower land acquisition and infrastructure costs,” he said.

Villar bared that they have already identified about 100 areas or over 600 hectares of land from its existing ‘Communicities’ around the country with ready population catchment areas for potential Starmalls projects.

“We believe that the acquisition of Starmalls, with its retail malls and BPO commercial centers, is transformative for Vista Land and represents a major step to realizing our vision of becoming a top integrated real estate developer,” Vista Land Chairman Manuel B. Villar, Jr.

Vista Land and Starmalls have together built more than 300,000 homes and 22 commercial buildings and have an established presence in 92 cities and municipalities across 35 provinces.

Meanwhile, the agreed purchase price of Php4.51 per Starmalls share represents a significant 44.87-percent discount to Starmalls’ last traded price of Php8.18 per share as of 9 November 2015.

The Fine Group will in turn subscribe to about 4.6 billion new Vista Land shares at Php7.15 per share, representing a 25.88 percent premium to Vista Land’s last traded price of Php5.68 per share.

A tender offer will be conducted for the remaining Starmalls shares under the same terms and conditions.

Vista Land reported a net income of Php5 billion for the first nine months of the year, up by 18 percent from Php4.2 billion during the same period last year.

Strong sales reaching Php42.7 billion boosted revenues by 10 percent to Php18.5 billion. (PNA)