The Filipino government has reportedly entered into a negotiated sale for its 10.2% stake in the country’s oldest telecoms company Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc (ETPI). The Philippine Daily Inquirer writes that having failed to sell off the stake in an open bidding process (in November 2007), the state is now looking to offload its shares to ISM Communications Corp, a company controlled by the former trade and industry minister Roberto Ongpin, who currently controls 67.5% of ETPI’s shares. The finance department says that under ETPI’s articles of incorporation, any existing shareholder in the company has the right to match the highest bid for any shares being sold. In the case of a failed bidding process, however, the government can look to sell its equity via a negotiated sale. The Department of Finance anticipates the sale of 10.2% of ETPI will be completed within a month.