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Manuela Corporation was incorporated in 1972 under the name Manuela Realty Development Corporation. It was organized by members of the family of Doña Manuela Aguilar Riguera as a real estate development company and for the operation of department stores and supermarkets. In 1982, the company’s name was changed to Manuela Corporation ("Manuela”).
Manuela has early on concentrated on developing and operating shopping malls, leasing commercial space to retailers and service products. In 1979, Manuela opened its first shopping mall in Las Piñas City which is now known as Starmall Las Piñas. From 1982 to 1996, Manuela has opened several other shopping malls: Starmall Las Piñas Annex, Starmall EDSA in Mandaluyong and Starmall Alabang in Muntinlupa. In 1996, Manuela began constructing what was then known as Pacific Mall along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City, which construction, however, was suspended when Manuela went into rehabilitation.
At the onset of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, Manuela had abruptly lost its source of funding from banks which had stopped altogether their lending activities to most businesses, including Manuela – forcing Manuela to finance the then on-going construction of its Pacific Mall along Shaw Boulevard and Starmall Alabang using internally generated funds from its operating malls thereby depleting the company’s working capital. Manuela eventually ran out of funds and was unable to pay its debts as they fell due. It filed a Petition for Rehabilitation in 2002 and a receiver was thereafter appointed to oversee and monitor the operations of Manuela during rehabilitation.
In 2003, the court approved Manuela’s ten-year Rehabilitation Plan which included, among other things, a provision for the conversion into equity of certain creditors’ accounts.
Taking advantage of its strategic location and the growing business process outsourcing ("BPO”) industry, Manuela repositioned Pacific Mall as a BPO center in 2007, which was subsequently renamed Worldwide Corporate Center ("WCC”).
In 2008, the Villar Family took over the active management of the operations of Manuela. Under the new management, the profit potentials of Manuela’s assets were fully optimized. The malls were re-planned and redeveloped.
Improvements were made on the malls which allowed Manuela to attract new anchor tenants and charge higher rental rates. In no time, mall occupancy across its four (4) malls was significantly improved. The new management likewise took measures to rationalize its work force to an efficient and cost effective level.
Thus, in the years 2009 and 2010, Manuela showed increase in income and cash flows. With its improved operations, Manuela was able to accelerate payments to its unsecured creditors. More importantly, Hero Holdings Corporation, the company that acquired substantially all of the syndicated and secured loan obligations of Manuela, converted a significant portion of the same debts to equity. The Villar Family acquired full ownership of Hero Holdings Corporation in early 2012.
Finally, on 25 January 2012, at the instance of the Receiver, the Court terminated the rehabilitation proceedings of Manuela.
In April of this year, Starmall San Jose Del Monte commenced operations under the management of Manuela pursuant to a Management Agreement with the owner thereof, Masterpiece Asia Properties, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polar Property Holdings Corp.
Since 2008, Manuela has improved in several aspects of its business. Its occupancy rate has increased by 40% from 36% in 2007 to 76% in the first quarter of 2012. The company likewise achieved a 23% growth in average rental rates from its shopping malls and WCC and an 87% compounded annual growth rate ("CAGR”) in net operating income ("NOI”). There has also been a 30% increase in shopper traffic from 2009 to 2011.
Moving forward, Manuela aims to provide quality value-added shopping experience to the Philippines’ under-served significant mass market and to provide quality commercial spaces to cater primarily to the growing BPO industry.
As of March 31, 2012, Manuela owns and operates five (5) retail malls and one (1) BPO commercial center in strategic locations spanning over 363,000 sqm of Gross Floor Area ("GFA”) and 1,777 tenants.
The retail malls are:
The BPO commercial center:
The Starmalls Story
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