Billionaire Villar Joins Homes, Mall Units in $698 Million Deal

  • Vista to buy 88.25% of Starmalls, tender for rest of shares
  • He wants to build self-contained projects in the Philippines

Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. will buy Starmalls Inc. in a 33 billion peso ($698 million) deal that combines the residential and shopping mall units of Philippine billionaire Manuel Villar.

Manila-based Vista Land said it agreed to buy 88.25 percent of Starmalls at 4.51 pesos a share from Villar and his family, according to a disclosure to the Philippine stock exchange Tuesday. That is a 45 percent discount to Starmalls’ last traded price of 8.18 pesos. Vista Land will issue 4.57 billion new shares to the Villar group at 7.15 pesos each, according to the filing.

Shares of Vista Land rose 2.8 percent to 5.84 pesos at the midday trading break in Manila, while Starmalls were unchanged at 8.18 pesos. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index fell 0.7 percent.

Villar said last month his group is considering combining homebuilder Vista Land and shopping-center developer Starmalls as he seeks to turn housing projects across the Philippines into self-contained communities.

Vista Land will make a tender offer for the rest of Starmalls shares not held by Villar’s group and the tendering minority shareholders will be required to invest 97.5 percent of the proceeds into shares of Vista Land. The tender offer will start on Jan. 4 and will be completed, along with the sale to Villar’s group, on Feb. 17.

Vista Land, which sells homes priced as low as 500,000 pesos, has a market value of 49 billion pesos, while Starmalls, which has 10 shopping centers, is worth 69 billion pesos.

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