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PhilWeb Special Block Sale Under Scrutiny

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MANILA, Philippines – PhilWeb Corp. special block sale of shares to Gregorio Araneta Inc. (GAI) from Roberto Ongpin is under scrutiny.

The sale involves Ongpin’s entire stake of PhilWeb, which amounted to 771.65 million shares, which is a total of P2.01 billion. The majority stake is 53.76 percent of the company’s stake at P2.60 per piece.

Two stages are involved in the agreement. The first stage involves 15 million shares, which will be sold in a special block offering. The approval of Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) will be taken regard.

The second stage, on the other hand, will comprise 118.5 million shares, which are partially compensated. As soon as the shares are registered at the PSE, these will be transacted with the same price of shares during the first tranche.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is studying the company special block sale before its minority shareholders’ mandatory tender presentation.

If there is an example to justify the occurrence, it would be easier to approve the company’s request, claimed by SEC Chairman Teresita Herbosa.

Similar case occurred in 2011 when Ongpin acquired PBCom completely. SEC allowed waiving the buyers’ requirements on mandatory tender presentation. Relatively, buyers have stakes in a publicly listed organization.

SEC Commissioner, Ephyro Amatong, claimed that the previous case would be studied by the regulator. Amatong said the group would look into it first.

PhilWeb President Dennis Valdes, cited that the tender offer will be handled by GAI willingly. It is everyone’s decision to push forward special block sale after the presentation of mandatory tender. If the tender presentation is done firsthand, postponement of Ongpin’s company departure will likely take another 30 days.

Valdes added that the delay on Ongpin’s departure from the company might also put off Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) meeting concerning its license. The eGames operators and its associated 5,000 employees will be further affected badly after its two-month shutdown.

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