With a population of about 100 million people, the Philippines is the seventh-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. The nation's demographics and economic potential have led it to be classified as a middle power. The Philippines is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country that has been transitioning from being agriculture-based to a consumer and services driven economy. The Philippine economy is the 39th largest in the world. Key industries include outsourced services, electronic products, transport equipment, textiles and garments, mining, energy and natural gas.
Lex Mundi in Philippines
Lex Mundi provides coverage in the Philippines through its member firm, Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & de los Angeles (“Romulo”), one of the largest and oldest firms in the country. Romulo is a constant presence on cross-border transactions, mainly advising international investors and finance providers. The firm offers legal services across a comprehensive range of practice areas, including: aviation and admiralty; banking; corporate and business laws; capital markets and other financial transactions; energy; environmental laws; finance; foreign investments; infrastructure; intellectual property; labor laws; litigation; mergers and acquisitions; mining, gas, oil, geothermal and other natural resources; securities; and taxation. Romulo is composed of 97 lawyers, all of whom speak English fluently and the majority of whom have received training and graduate degrees from international universities.
Representative Experience in Philippines:
- Acted for as counsel to Del Monte Pacific Limited, in connection with its application for a cross listing of its shares with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) by way of introduction on the basis that its shares were listed on Singapore’s SGX-ST.
- Represented the joint lead underwriters for the IPO of SSI Group, Inc. (SSI) with an offer size of around Php7.45 billion (160 million USD). SSI is the leading specialty retailer in the Philippines with an extensive portfolio of established international brands, comprising, among others, such well-known brands as Hermès, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, Zara, Bershka and Stradivarius, Lacoste, GAP, TWG, Muji, Pottery Barn and FamilyMart.
- Advised the companies that comprised the Max’s Group of Restaurants in the acquisition of PSE listed Pancake House, Inc. that involved a tender offer to public shareholders which was completed in a remarkably short four month period. Within one year from the acquisition, Romulo assisted in the restructuring of Pancake House, Inc. and the Max’s Group of companies by integrating the Max’s businesses, stores and assets into the listed vehicle, obtained all governmental approvals necessary for the integration of assets and the follow-on offering of the re-named and re-branded Max’s Group, Inc.
- Advised Shell Philippines Exploration, B.V. of the Netherlands, in a project consortium with CHEVRON, and a Philippine state owned entity in connection with their joint venture to develop the Philippine’s largest natural off-shore gas resource in Northwest Palawan (Camago-Malampaya area).
- Represented Globe Telecom, Inc. in connection with its global tender offer for all the debt (including a high yield bond) of Bayantel followed by the acquisition by Globe of substantially all the equity of Bayantel.
- Assisted Baring Private Equity in the acquisition of a real estate portfolio in the Philippines, the China-ASEAN Fund in the acquisition of a significant stake in a national passenger and cargo ship group, as well as Navegar in the acquisition of a casual dining restaurant chain.
- Acted on a majority of the largest bank acquisitions in the Philippines including the takeover by Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) of Far East Bank and Trust Company, of PCI Bank by BDO Unibank (BDO), of Philam Savings Bank by Citibank, of RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) Savings Bank by Robinsons Savings Bank, the sale by BPI of majority of Pilipinas Bank, Keppel Bank by GE Money Bank, the acquisition by Maybank of PNB Republic Bank (now Maybank Philippines), and acquisition by BDO of GE Money Bank.