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Yuchengcos sell Pacific Plans for P250M

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 12:25:00 01/20/2009

The Yuchengcos have sold their troubled pre-need unit Pacific Plans Inc. (PPI) to a group led by investment banker and Asian Spirit Airlines founder Noel Oñate.

Oñate, who sold Asian Spirit in 2008, announced Tuesday his acquisition of all the shares of the Yuchengcos’ GPL Holdings in Pacific Plans. Sources said his group, which agreed to pay P250 million to take over PPI, would infuse additional capital.

The acquisition will be made through Oñate’s Abundance Providers Investments Corp. (APIC), which pledged to expand the company by selling and servicing education, pension and memorial plans.

APIC will also service the traditional educational plans based on the provisions of PPI’s court-approved modified rehabilitation plan.

Oñate said PPI was in “good financial stead” with consolidated trust fund assets of P12 billion and operating revenues of P1.2 billion.

“With our fresh perspective and focus, we will work with our plan holders initially to ride out the present economic challenges and then gain strength and momentum,” he said.

PPI was a major pre-need player that was brought down by its open-ended educational plans when the government allowed schools to increase tuition fees without limit in 1990. Burdened by the unlimited tuition increases, PPI sought and obtained court rehabilitation in 2005.

“There were other parties interested in PPI but the group of Mr. Oñate was chosen given his track record of success, his strong financial standing, and his vision for the company and its plan holders,” PPI president Alfredo Non said.

“The sale was a business decision that will benefit all parties: PPI and its plan holders, because Mr. Oñate has promised his full resources, energy and focus on his new venture; and the Yuchengco Group, which can now fully focus on its banking and mainstream insurance businesses,” Non said.

Oñate enters the pre-need business after selling Asian Spirit Airlines, now Zest Air, an airline he established in 1995.

He worked with Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. and later became director of Philippine National Oil Co., Metro Manila Tollways Corp. and Summit Realty Corp. He was also vice-chairman of Airbridge-Hawaiian Airlines and currently managing director of Smetrix Financial (HK) Ltd.

Joining Oñate in the new PPI board are businesswoman Carlotta Montinola, lawyers Rita Linda Jimeno, Ronaldo Geron and businessman Rodolfo Serrano, Jr.

January 20, 2009 - Posted by | Philippine Newspapers/Web News | , , , ,

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