Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy is reportedly in talks to buy into boutique property developer Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) as part of the ongoing expansion of his business empire.
Several industry sources said IDC—whose shares have rapidly risen in the stock market in recent days—was another prospective target for Uy, who has been very active in the merger and acquisition (M&A) arena in recent months.
Asked whether Uy’s entry into IDC was a “done deal,” IDC chair and CEO Romolo Nati said in an e-mail to the Inquirer on Saturday: “We’re always open to exploring prospective collaborations with good prospective partners. For now, however, there is nothing set in stone with anyone in particular.”
“It’s early days,” IDC senior adviser Jose Leviste Jr. replied in a text message, when asked whether a deal was imminent.
Uy’s potential entry into IDC comes at a time when the property firm is bracing for a bigger role in the property scene by diversifying into “microtownship” estates development, subdivision or horizontal housing and building commercial property assets.
Shares of IDC have sizzled in the stock market this month and trading volume was extraordinarily heavy in the last few days. From P6.82 per share as of the end of October, IDC’s share price almost doubled to P13.36 per share as of last Friday.
The property firm is currently valued by the stock market at close to P3 billion.
IDC distinguishes itself from peers by integrating renewable energy into its design philosophy. Its Primavera Residences project in Cagayan de Oro has earned the distinction of completing the first condominium project in East Asia to be given an EDGE (Excellence in Design For Greater Efficiencies) certification by the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.
The company is debuting in Southern Luzon’s property market with the rollout of a new residential tower in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, the first high-rise development in this area. The Miramonti project, the company’s biggest so far, consists of three 21-story towers and will be developed in two phases.
Miramonti is IDC’s third project after Primavera Residences and Primavera City in Uptown Cagayan de Oro. IDC also plans to expand to other emerging cities such as Dumaguete, Davao, Mindoro, Pangasinan and Subic/Bataan.
Uy has embarked on a string of aggressive M&A deals in recent months. After taking over control of leading logistics firm 2GO Group Inc., he has acquired Enderun Colleges, the Philippine FamilyMart convenience store network, Petronas LPG, the $1-billion 177-hectare logistics project called Global Gateway Logistics City in Clark City and a number of small logistics companies.
Ten years after the stock market debut of Phoenix Petroleum, Uy also listed his shipping firm, Chelsea Logistics.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.