(Bloomberg) -- Manuel Villar, the Philippines’ richest tycoon, has joined a heated race of businessmen seeking to expand the nation’s green electricity capacity. 

Villar plans to spend the 2 billion pesos ($35.4 million) to 2.31 billion pesos he will raise from Premiere Island Power REIT Corp.’s IPO to buy sites for as many as nine power projects, CEO TJ Mendoza said.  The projects will boost the Villar group’s renewable generation capacity to up to 1,000 MW in three to five years, he said in an investors briefing.

The former senate president is joining other Philippine businessmen like port and casino tycoon Enrique Razon and property and banking magnate Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala who are making aggressive push into power and renewables as the Philippines seeks to build capacity and shift into sustainable electricity sources. The government estimates 69.4 gigawatts of additional capacity is needed to meet projected electricity demand by 2040.

Villar’s renewable venture PAVI Green has power projects that are mostly in underserved and missionary areas, providing PremiereREIT’s future assets and growth, Mendoza said. PAVI has won the bidding for 40.4MW of solar energy in the government’s Green Energy Auction Program.

PremiereREIT is the third company Villar has taken public since the IPO of his convenience store AllDay Marts Inc. last year. Villar, who started as low-cost homes developer to build a sprawling empire that covers property, energy, water, media and retail, has an estimated $6.8 billion net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

Other Details

  • PremiereREIT has an initial portfolio of land, buildings and power plants with 21.3MW of capacity and appraised value of 8.67 billion pesos, according to Manuel Paolo Villar, director and son of the tycoon. It expects to have 472 million pesos distributable income in 2023, he said
  • PremiereREIT’s selling shareholders are offering 1.4 billion shares with overallotment of 210 million shares. At its 1.50 peso IPO price, annualized dividend yield is 9.25% for 2022 and 9.56% for 2023, the highest among Philippine REITs, CFO Maryknoll Zamora said
  • PremiereREIT business development head Robert Marlon Pereja said it costs $810,000 to build 1 megawatt of solar capacity, down from a million dollars five years ago due to advances in technology
  • Underwriter China Bank Capital Corp. said PremiereREIT’s IPO has stabilization fund equivalent to 210 million secondary common shares, equivalent to 15% of the maiden share sale’s 1.40 billion shares firm offer

(Adds more details from fifth paragraph.)

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.