University of the East Extension [ edu | pro ]

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University of the East Extension [ edu | pro ]

Post by Jan on Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:42 am

After regaining PAL, Lucio Tan expanding University of the East

After regaining control of his crown jewel Philippine Airlines, billionaire Lucio Tan has set his sights on expanding the University of the East further.

El Kapitan, according to the chatter in UE Recto, has bought the Ever Gotesco Manila Plaza property along C. M. Recto Ave. in Manila right at the heart of the University Belt. UE chairman Tan plans to renovate the shopping mall that will house UE’s College of Dentistry.

The Recto shopping mall is part of the assets being disposed of by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, after the Ever Gotesco Malls Group of Companies of businessman Jose Go collapsed. The other malls put in the auction block by the central bank are Ever Gotesco Commonwealth Center along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City; Ever Gotesco Ortigas Complex in Ortigas Avenue Extension, Pasig City; Metro Manila Ever Gotesco Grand Central (closed) in Rizal Avenue corner Bustamante St. in Caloocan City; and Ever Supermarket Trece Martires in Trece Martires City, Cavite province.

Mr. Tan, meanwhile, will soon break ground on a modest building in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna to herald UE’s expansion to the southern Luzon province. The Recto chatter says the Sta. Rosa building will initially offer basic college courses to the young population of Sta. Rosa, where Mr. Tan’s Eton Properties Philippines Inc. is developing Eton City, a huge property project.

Eton City serves as the key project of Eton Properties. Eton City (formerly Asia Brewery) covers an area of about 1,000 hectares along South Luzon Expressway at Greenfield Exit and only 40 minutes from Makati.

So, why is El Kapitan expanding UE? A source close to Mr. Tan said the tycoon has seen the exponential growth of the business process outsourcing sector. Schools like UE, he said, can supply the manpower requirements of BPO companies.

“Lucio Tan is really a supporter of education. From his early days, he believes good education will help the people and the Philippines,” says the source. “Ever since he took control of UE, all profits have been plowed back to improving its facilities and research. I think he wants to leave a legacy in education. If he simply wanted profits, he could have simply turned the Gotesco property into a multi-million peso property project.”

UE’s transformation into one of the largest educational institutions in the Philippines is one big leap from its origins as a two-rented-room school in Dasmariñas Street, Manila, where 110 students enrolled in Certified Public Accountant review classes in September 1946.

In full control of PAL

Mr. Tan, meanwhile, has silenced doubters about his capability to finance the takover of PAL. The new board composition of PAL clearly indicates he is in full control of the airline again, despite the multi-million dollar loans he secured from a number of creditor-banks.

Jaime “Jimmy” Bautista is back as PAL president, with Tan remaining as chairman. Joseph Chua, who was earlier rumored as the incoming airline president during the initial phase of the negotiations to regain control of PAL, was named vice chairman .

Tan regained full ownership and management control of PAL from conglomerate San Miguel Corp., after selling 49 percent of the flag carrier just two years ago.

Tan offered $1 billion to acquire San Miguel’s 49 percent interest in PAL. The offer is slightly higher compared with an earlier reported tender of $800 million.

San Miguel acquired the 49-percent stake in PAL’s parent PAL Holdings Inc. in April 2012 for $500 million. San Miguel later made cash advances to finance the airline’s modernization program.

PAL returned to profit in the second quarter of 2014, as revenues climbed 47 percent to P27.3 billion from P18.52 billion a year ago, following the opening of new routes to Europe and the Middle East.

The airline registered a comprehensive income P1.45 billion in the April-June quarter, a reversal of the P500-million loss in the same period last year.

The flag carrier completed a $261-million modernization program to replace legacy aircraft. The program involved the replacement of 20 ageing planes, such as B747-400s, with modern, fuel-efficient ones that are seen to reduce costs.


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