Philippines: PLDT to sell part of its Rocket Internet stake for $202m

Source: PLDT

PLDT Online Investments, an indirect subsidiary of listed telco giant PLDT, has accepted a public share purchase offer by Germany’s Rocket Internet SE, according to a disclosure.

The deal involves around 6.8 million shares of Rocket Internet that PLDT owns for about €163.2 million ($202 million).

PLDT, through PLDT Online, currently owns about 6.1 per cent of Rocket Internet. Should the share buyback go through, PLDT’s ownership in Rocket will drop to just 2 per cent, which may result in the former losing its board seat in the German firm.

Rocket earlier announced the buyback of up to 15.5 million shares through a public share purchase offer for €24 per share.

“The final number of PLDT Online tendered shares accepted by Rocket will be determined after the offer period, which is expected to end on 2 May 2018. If greater than 15,472,912 Rocket shares are tendered, the Rocket shares to be sold by PLDT Online will be reduced proportionally,” the company said.

PLDT spokesman Ramon Isberto told reporters that the proceeds of the divestment will be used partly to finance the company’s capital expenditures for this year, which is about P58 billion ($1.1 billion).

PLDT invested €333 million for a 10 per cent stake in Rocket in 2014. The investment, according to PLDT during the signing of the agreement, reflected its long-term commitment to Rocket and its ability to combine PLDT’s mobile money expertise and resources to Rocket’s global platform.

In 2016, however, PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilingan described the company’s Rocket investment as “disappointing” although he held on to the stake. It was in 2017 that PLDT first hinted at divesting its stake in Rocket Internet.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.