PLDT rais­ing P10.5 B from sale of Rocket stake

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - By LOUELLA DESIDERIO

PLDT Inc. is sell­ing more than half or 67.4 per­cent of its shares in Rocket In­ter­net SE un­der a buy­back pro­gram for P10.5 bil­lion.

In a dis­clo­sure to the Philip­pine Stock Ex­change, PLDT said its in­di­rect sub­sidiary PLDT On­line In­vest­ments Pte. Ltd. has com­mit­ted to ac­cept the pub­lic share pur­chase of­fer of Rocket for at least 6.8 mil­lion shares or ap­prox­i­mately 67.4 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of Rocket shares di­rectly held by PLDT On­line.

Ear­lier, Rocket an­nounced the buy­back of up to 15.47 mil­lion Rocket shares through a pub­lic share pur­chase of­fer against pay­ment of an of­fer price in the amount of 24 euro per share.

PLDT, through PLDT On­line, holds a 6.1 per­cent own­er­ship stake in Rocket.

“The fi­nal num­ber of PLDT On­line ten­dered shares acThe cepted by Rocket will be deter­mined af­ter the of­fer pe­riod which is ex­pected to end on May 2,” PLDT said.

If greater than 15.47 mil­lion Rocket shares are ten­dered, PLDT said the Rocket shares to be sold by PLDT On­line would be re­duced pro­por­tion­ally.

PLDT chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Manuel V. Pangili­nan ear­lier said the telco in­tends to sell its stake in Rocket In­ter­net to fund this year’s cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tures.

Aside from the sale of PLDT’s po­si­tion in Rocket, he said this year’s capex would like­wise be funded by in­ter­nally gen­er­ated funds, as well as pro­ceeds from the sale of re­ceiv­ables from the sale of the com­pany’s stake in Bea­con Elec­tric As­set Hold­ings Inc. to Metro Pa­cific In­vest­ments Corp.

PLDT has set its capex at a his­toric high of P58 bil­lion this year.

Of this year’s capex, the bulk or 53 per­cent would be spent on the fixed net­work busi­ness re­quire­ments as PLDT em­barks on an ag­gres­sive roll­out of fiber broad­band ser­vice to cater to grow­ing de­mand for dig­i­tal ser­vices of cus­tomers.

This year’s capex is also in­tended to en­able PLDT and wire­less unit Smart Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc. to over­haul in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sys­tems and plat­forms to sup­port net­work man­age­ment and busi­ness op­er­a­tions to pro­vide more ef­fi­cient ser­vices to cus­tomers.

PLDT has ear­lier said, it also ex­pects to re­tain this year’s capex level for 2019 and 2020.

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