Philippines' AC Energy expects to raise $624 mln from share sales this year

MANILA, Feb 1 (Reuters) - AC Energy Philippines, the power generation unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp, said on Monday it expects to raise roughly 30 billion pesos ($624 million) from share sales, including a follow-on offering around the middle of this year.

The amount includes the 5.3 billion pesos raised last week from a stock rights issue, AC Energy President and CEO Eric Francia said in a briefing.

The fundraising exercises also include a private placement deal with Arran Investment Ptd Ltd, an affiliate of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, involving a 17.5% stake in ACEN valued earlier at about 20 billion pesos.

The size of the follow-on offering has yet be finalised, he said.

The 30 billion pesos from share sales is on top of a capital infusion to be made when Ayala Corp consolidates its power and infrastructure projects under AC Energy, which will be renamed as AC Energy and Infrastructure Corp.

Francia said the restructuring would put AC Energy in a strong position to reach its goal of exceeding 5 gigawats of renewables (capacity) by 2025 and becoming the largest listed renewables firm in Southeast Asia.

“We expect to (hit) the halfway mark this year. Right now we are about 1,350 megawatts,” he said, including around 450 megawatts in the Philippines, which AC Energy plans to double this year.

Francia said AC Energy has “significant” projects in Australia and India for this year that will help it reach its target capacity for renewables, which are mainly solar and wind.

Last year, the company announced its policy of shifting to a low-carbon portfolio, which includes the sale of its coal assets by 2030.

Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty