MANILA – Ayala-led Manila Water Company Inc. is venturing into the water industry of Thailand as part of its ongoing expansion in Southeast Asia.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Manila Water said it signed Monday a share purchase agreement with Electricity Generating Public Company Limited (EGCO) to acquire its 18.72-percent equity in Thailand-based Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Public Company Limited.
The company intends to finance the transaction through internally generated funds and bank debt.
It said the closing of the acquisition is still subject to the “fulfillment of certain conditions precedent.”
“We recognize the opportunities this new market presents for us, and we are eager to share the technical expertise and service quality which Manila Water has developed over the last 20 years. From the conglomerate perspective, Ayala sees this development as a strategic entry point into Thailand. With Manila Water leading the way, we hope to leverage our various capabilities to enlarge our footprint in the country,” said Ayala President and Chief Operating Officer and Manila Water Board Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.
East Water’s operations are strategically located along the Eastern Economic Corridor which is targeted to be a leading economic zone in the Southeast Asian region.
East Water, a publicly listed company whose shares are traded in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, is engaged in the provision of raw and tap water supply services in the eastern region of Thailand and home to a number of heavy industries, including automotive, electronics and petrochemicals.
“Our entry into the Thailand water space aligns squarely with our internationalization strategy, with focus in Southeast Asia. East Water presents great potential, as its future growth will mainly come from the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the Thai government’s initiative to further develop the country’s eastern seaboard into a leading economic zone in ASEAN,” said Manila Water President and Chief Executive Officer Ferdz dela Cruz.
Manila Water’s entry into Thailand comes after its foray into bulk water and concession projects in Vietnam.
It has also completed pilot projects in Bandung, Indonesia for a non-revenue water reduction program; and in Yangon, Myanmar for leakage reduction.