MANILA— Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. (CLC) has inked an agreement for the acquisition of shipping firm Starlite Ferries Inc. (Starlite) in a bid to further expand its operations.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), CLC said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Starlite for the purchase of 100 percent of its shares of stocks as well as their subsidiaries.
“The planned acquisition will bring us a step closer to fulfilling our commitment to growth in order to realize more value for our stakeholders from the investors to the consumers,” CLC Chairman Dennis Uy said.
The transaction is pending due diligence by CLC of Starlite and subject to regulatory approval by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).
The acquisition will be financed by the net proceeds of the company’s initial public offering of common shares once it has secured the necessary processes and regulatory approvals.
CLC has allocated PHP1.78 billion of the proceeds for fleet expansion; PHP245 million for purchase and upgrade of ports, port facilities, containers, machineries and equipment; PHP3.20 billion for acquisition of shipping and logistics firms and PHP278 million for general corporate purposes.
“By modernizing and expanding our operations, we can provide better shipping and logistics solutions as well as make our country more competitive in capturing the increasing trade opportunities in Southeast Asia,” according to Uy.
Starlite and its subsidiaries have fourteen vessels in the fleet of which five are roll-on roll-off (RORO) passenger vessels which were acquired in 2016 and 2017.
The shipping company services the ports of Batangas, Calapan, Puerto Galera, Roxas and Caticlan and looks to further expand to other ports of operations with its brand new RORO vessels.
The Udenna Group of Uy ventured into shipping in 2006 through Chelsea Shipping Corp. to support the operations of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc.
It has since grown into the country’s biggest logistics group with the largest tanker fleet in terms of capacity.
In March, CLC acquired a 28.15 percent indirect economic interest in 2GO Group Inc.
CLC has 11 tankers, eight tugboats, seven roll-on/roll-off vessels with passenger accommodation (RoPax), four barges and three cargo groups. In addition, it now has eight RoPax, 10 fast crafts and eight cargo vessels from the 2GO Group.