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Frontline Spends US$2.8m for Equity In Philippine Company

Barely two months after opening its regional development center in Malaysia, Singapore Mainboard-listed Frontline Technologies is back in the spotlight again with its US$2.82 million acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Philippines-based IT Holdings.

IT Holdings owns Sun Microsystems (Phils) Inc., a joint venture it formed with Sun Microsystems to offer enterprise IT systems and services to the financial services and telecommunications industries, as well as the government sector.

Prior to the latest acquisition announcement, Frontline had also acquired a 30 percent stake in Thai IT services firm Logic Company in April this year.

The flurry of activity in Thailand, Malaysia and now, the Philippines, marks the successful completion of Frontline's first phase of its aggressive Asia South expansion, the company said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange.

Following a sale and purchase agreement it had entered into in May with Walden AB Ayala Ventures Company to acquire a 26.89 percent stake in IT Holdings, Frontline will now increase its ownership by buying over 69,947 shares from IT Holdings chairman Mario Cesar O. Mamon. It will also subscribe for 55,511 new shares of IT Holdings. The transaction with Mamon and IT Holdings will enable Frontline to hold a total of 245,000 common shares, constituting a 49 percent stake in the Philippines-based company.

"With Frontline's investment, we will be able to leverage on Frontline's expertise and proven track record in providing one-stop IT solutions. This will help transform us into a leading integrated e-business solutions provider in the Philippines," Mamon said.

What's next for Frontline?

In line with its two-year growth strategy of acquisitions, investments and joint ventures, the Singapore-headquartered company will now look toward North Asia, where it already has established its presence in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. According to Frontline executive chairman Steve Ting, the company will strengthen its foothold in the Chinese market, and will announce expansion moves "in due course."