Public float shrinking: Cemex Philippines inches closer to delisting as its Mexican CEO steps up stock purchases in May and June

Cemex Holdings Philippines (CHP) is edging closer to falling below the minimum 10 percent public float as its top executive intensifies stock purchases in May and June.

CHP president and CEO Luis Guillermo Franco Carrillo gobbled up a total of 1.52 million CHP shares from May 18 to June 19 at a price range of P1 to P1.05 per share.

Carrillo had a single token CHP share before his string of purchases.

CHP paid P1.30 per share in its tender offer last March which pulled down the firm’s public float to 10.13 percent.

As of May 31, CHP’s float has shrunk to 10.07 percent.

Abacus Securities estimated CHP or its officers need to buy back roughly 7.468 million shares for the stock to fall below the minimum 10 percent public ownership. Abacus said this could take between three to four months based on the pace of Carillo’s purchases.

“We believe management or its proxies will continue to accumulate shares of CHP until its float falls below the minimum 10 percent. This will automatically result in a trading suspension and give its parent a reason (some may call it an excuse) to make a delisting tender offer. We don’t know if this will happen soon or if it is going to drag out. Neither do we know if the offer price, in case there is one, will be higher than the last,” said Abacus.

Abacus draws parallels between CHP’s incremental delisting approach and Cemex’s actions when it recently privatized Cemex Latam Colombia, which was listed on the Bolsa de Valores de Colombia (BVC), following a tender offer in 2020.

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