Bless the kids and their benefactors

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Emeterio Sd. Perez

Emeterio Sd. Perez

HMR Philippines Inc. is a retailer of imported goods from Australia and the United States that were made in China. With such business activity, at least 60 percent of its equity should be controlled by Filipinos. That’s what the law requires, and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggest HMR Philippines has been legally organized.

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The big surprise though is not that HMR Philippines is pure Filipino; it is its being wholly owned by a Filipina—almost 100 percent any way, except for three four shares held by a few outsiders including an Australian.

The story of Erlinda Carman is one of an entrepreneur, who started small and ended up owning the entire business. Little by little, she has diluted everyone including her own holding company that bears the corporate name of what used to be an original stockholder.

In a company with P300-million authorized capital computed at par value of which P236 million is paid-up, three or four shares held by her nominees would be insignificant because as the majority owner, Mrs. Carman, who retained Filipino citizenship after marrying an Australian, owns almost 100 percent of HMR Philippines. By deducting P400 worth of shares from P236 million would be equivalent to P236 million.

Carman may not be as famous as some of the heirs to the wealth of some of the Philippines’ richest families. Still, she deserves to belong in their league given her title as president/chairman of a group of companies to which HMR Philippines is only a unit.

Married to an Australian, Erlinda Carman was one of seven incorporators of HMR Philippines Inc. She gave her residence at 16 Ecology Village, Makati, Metro Manila.

In September 1992, the company was registered with the SEC. It had authorized capital of P1 million, or 10,000 shares with par value of P100 of which 6,250 shares were subscribed.

As one of the incorporators, Carman subscribed to 3,747 shares, or 59.95 percent of 6,250 subscribed shares. Verold Holdings Pty. Ltd. of Australia was the only other significant investor who subscribed to 2,496 shares, or 39.94 percent. The rest went to individual nominees. Of her subscribed shares, Carman paid for 939 shares at par value, for a total initial investment of P93,900, which was equivalent to 27.28 percent of P344,200 paid-up capital while Verold paid for 2,496 shares, or P249,600, or 72.52 percent.

Over the years, Carman did it alone in propelling the growth of a P62,500 company in 1992 to a one with P236-million outstanding capital stock which she all owns.

Unfortunately, the SEC files do not carry the secrets of her success but do tell you and me that she has been very busy expanding her company, that her original investment of P93,900 has multiplied 2,513 times to reach P236 million in only 10 years.

(Another way of computing the investment growth is by deducting P93,900 from P236 million and you come out with P235,906,100 divided by P93,900 equals 2,512.312 multiplied by 100 to get the percentage equivalent equals 251,231.203 percent. What a percentage!)

Carman is a fast learner. Like most Filipino businessmen, she also uses layers and layers of ownerships using a holding company. How she had taken over Verold of Australia and transformed its corporate identity to Filipino should be told. Unfortunately, the Australian-owned corporate vehicle just disappeared from the general information sheets HMR Philippines annually filed with the SEC.

Thus, how Verold Holdings Pty. Ltd. became Verold Corp., a 100-percent Filipino-owned corporation, Carman being the only majority stockholder, remains a mystery at least to Due Diligencer.

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Dining for charity. If you eat in this place, then you become a benefactor.

Casetta del Divino Zelo, an Italian religious house, takes care of the schooling of 300 or so children of informal settlers in Cavite.

The good nuns, who run Casetta, however, do not rely solely on donations to perform their apostolate; they run a restaurant that serves authentic, Italian spaghetti and cakes. The proceeds from the sale may not be enough but donors also come to help augment the eatery’s earnings.

On Sunday before Christmas, we visited the sisters and met a benefactress, a regular donor who was at the Casetta to bring food and drinks for the children’s Christmas party on Monday, two days before Christmas day.

Cherry, you are God’s gift to the children of Casetta del Divino Zelo. Due Diligencer could only wish you the best in 2014. Keep doing the good work.

esdperez@gmail.com

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