The increase was primarily driven by the P7.2 billion net gain on sale of 20 percent in the Manila Electric Company (Meralco)
shares and lower interest expense. Without the gain on sale of Meralco shares, net income for 2009 was P1.3 billion higher by 8 percent than 2008 net income.
On July 14, 2009, First Holdings completed the sale of 223 million Meralco common shares, or approximately 20 percent of the latter’s outstanding common stock, for P20.07 billion. The deal was made pursuant to an Investment and Cooperation Agreement signed between First Holdings and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) where both parties also agreed on certain corporate governance principles such as the nomination of directors to the Meralco Board.
Oscar M. Lopez
, Chairman and CEO of First Holdings remarked, “We are pleased with the company’s financial performance the past year and are thankful for the support of all our stakeholders in achieving these results. We have completed the necessary steps to strengthen the company and now look forward to pursuing our strategic imperatives.”