Aznar family selling SWU shares to Phinma

April 24,2015 - 11:11 AM
Southwestern University facilities in Cebu City will be given an upgrade once Phinma Corp completes its aquisition of a majority stake in the school. (SWU.EDU.PH)

Southwestern University facilities in Cebu City will be given an upgrade once Phinma Corp completes its aquisition of a majority stake in the school. (SWU.EDU.PH)

Facilities and laboratories of Southwestern University (SWU) will be upgraded once listed conglomerate Phinma Corp. completes the acquisition of majority stake in the Aznar-owned school.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, Phinma said it will also “push SWU to move aggressively on the senior high school market” with the implementation of the K-12 program in the upcoming school year.

The company further vowed to improve the 69-year-old school’s operational efficiencies and build on its “long tradition of excellence, particularly in medicine and the allied health sciences.”

“Phinma will build on this tradition of the Aznar family, SWU’s founders, and will expand the university’s reach and reputation,” the company said in its disclosure.

Phinma is acquiring 17,201 shares, or 56.83 percent of the total outstanding capital stock, for P1.9 billion. The acquisition was approved by its board of directors on April 22.

In its disclosure, the company said it paid for 12,065 shares on April 22 and was expected to pay for 3,214 shares yesterday. The balance of 1,922 shares will be paid upon submission of required deliverables such as stock certificates and deed of sale of shares.

The purchase price takes into account the number of enrollees, brand value and the appraised values of properties owned by the school, such as the Sacred Heart Hospital and 240 hectares of land.

Members of the Aznar family declined to comment on the transaction.

Dr. Wilfe T. Besin, director of the SWU Center for Information, Publications and Promotions, said negotiations were ongoing.

“We will call for a press conference once there is final word about this. Expect an official announcement from the school about this in the coming few days,” he said.

School operations were disrupted in the past because of a dispute among family members over control of the school. It was not clear whether the dispute has been resolved.

In its disclosure, Phinma listed the members of the board headed by Maris Johanna H. Hadaway as chairman and George Charles J. Aznar as vice chairman.

Other members are Ana Anunciacion A. Almario, Enrico H. Aznar, Andrew S. Aznar, Angelica A. Sierra, Alexander S. Aznar, Merlo R. Aznar III and Virma A. Velez.

Phinma said SWU’s transition from a family-run company to becoming a part of a national conglomerate “will help protect the legacy of the family and ensure the school’s future” by improving operational efficiencies, achieving economies of scale and further improving the quality of education.

SWU will join the University of Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro College, Araullo University and University of Pangasinan under the Phinma Education Network.

The acquisition of SWU is expected to strengthen Phinma’s position in the education industry and improve its revenues and bottom line.

With the addition of SWU, enrollment of Phinma schools is projected to grow to 47,000 students.

“The Cebu location likewise gives Phinma presence in one of the country’s major education centers, expanding its physical reach and influence.”  SWU was founded in 1946 by couple Don Matias Hipolito C. Aznar II and Doña Anunciacion Barcenilla Aznar, both pharmacists.

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