BDO Unibank to Acquire Full Ownership of the Podium Complex

BDO’s board approved the acquisition of the shares of its partner in the joint venture responsible for running the commercial and office complex in Ortigas.

BDO Unibank, Inc. has announced that it is acquiring full ownership of the Podium Complex in Ortigas, which includes the Podium Mall, BDO Corporate Center Ortigas, and the West Tower. 

The Podium Complex is presently managed and operated by SM Keppel Land Inc. (SMKL), a joint venture between the Sy-led BDO Unibank, Keppel Philippines Properties Inc, and Opon-KE Properties Inc. The Philippine Star notes in its report that property development company Keppel Philippines is owned by a subsidiary of Singapore-based Keppel Corp. 

“BDO Unibank Inc, as Keppel’s joint venture partner, has agreed to buy out Keppel’s 50 percent direct equity ownership in SMKL,” BDO Unibank said in a statement, according to ABS-CBN News

BDO Unibank reiterates, ”By this acquisition, BDO will consolidate its ownership of the Podium Complex, presently 50 percent owned by SMKL.”

Details of BDO Unibank’s Acquisition

The Philippine Star says that “The deal covered 217.9 million common shares and 36.4 million redeemable preferred shares equivalent to 50% of SMKL’s capital stock.” 

The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has already been informed of the decision through a disclosure sent on March 27. The disclosure notes that the companies came to their final decision after a meeting on March 25. The share purchase agreement was likewise signed on the same day. 

However, the deal is still subject to regulatory approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as well as the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC). 

What the Deal Means 

According to ABS-CBN News, Keppel Philippines Properties Inc and Opon-KE Properties Inc. have decided to divest its investments in SMKL, which explains their agreement on the deal with BDO Unibank. It should be noted that BDO Unibank already occupies 63% of the office spaces in Podium Complex. 

Once the deal is approved by the BSP and CCP, Podium Mall will be the latest addition to the list of shopping malls owned and operated by the companies of the Sy family. The Sy family owns and runs SM Prime Holdings, Inc., which is regarded as the biggest developer, operator, and owner of malls in the country. It also develops, operates, and owns malls in China. 

According to the SM Prime website, the company has around 10.4 million square meters of Gross Floor Area (GFA), 19,562 tenants in the Philippines, and 1,856 tenants in China.