PREMIERE Horizon Alliance Corp. (PHA) will be pouring in P600 million to own a 40% stake in Philstar Development Bank, Inc., according to the listed investment holdings firm’s regulatory filing on Wednesday.

The move comes after fintech company Squidpay Technology, Inc. transferred to PHA 40% of the 60% share that it planned to acquire in the bank, based on a deed of assignment which Squidpay and PHA entered into on Aug. 31.

“Following the deed of assignment, PHA will invest P600 million for a 40% stake, while Squidpay will continue to hold its investment of P300 million for a 20% stake,” PHA said in a disclosure.

Philippine Regional Investment Development Corp. (PRIDE) and the current stockholders in the bank will retain at least 40%

Squidpay had initially moved to hold a 60% share in Philstar bank, according to a previous memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed on April 8.

PHA said that under the MoA, Squidpay will infuse up to P900 million for a 60% stake in Philstar bank, subject to certain conditions and subsequent implementing agreements. It added that the assignment of shares by Squidpay would formally make PHA a party to the agreement.

“The joint venture will target the ever-growing need for cashless payments considering the pandemic and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ drive for digital banking,” PHA said, adding that it is aligned with the company’s vision of countryside development and financial inclusivity.

In a separate disclosure on Wednesday, AbaCore Capital Holdings, Inc., which fully owns PRIDE, said it had received a copy of the signed counterpart deed of assignment on Aug. 31.

On Wednesday, AbaCore shares improved by 4.85% or five centavos to close at P1.08 apiece at the stock exchange. Shares in PHA were last traded on Aug. 31, closing at P1.11 each.


Angelica Y. Yang, / September 2, 2021