PLDT cuts stake in Rocket Internet


Pangilinan-led PLDT has decided to trim its stake in technology firm Rocket Internet by more than half to raise €163.2 million (P10.5 billion), which is expected to be used for capital spending.

The telecom giant told the local bourse on Monday that it had accepted the public share purchase offer of Rocket for at least 6.8 million shares, or about 67.4 percent of its total shares in the latter.

This came after Rocket announced that it would buy back over 15 million shares through a public share purchase offer at a price of €24 per share.

PLDT currently holds a 6.1- percent stake in Rocket. It invested P17 billion or €333 million in Rocket four years ago to acquire a 10-percent stake in the company.

In November 2017, PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters that the firm planned to dispose some of its major assets, including its Rocket stake, to finance capital expenditures.

Last month he announced that capex for this year was set at P58 billion, with 53 percent of the amount to bolster its fixed network business.

Annabelle Chua, PLDT chief financial officer, said the group expected to complete the sale of its interest in Rocket this year.

PLDT posted net income of P13.4 billion last year, down 33 percent from P20.16 billion in 2016, due to the “non-core capex-related expenses of P16.7 billion in connection with our transformation initiative,” while consolidated revenues fell 3 percent to P159.92 billion.


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