Filipino operator Vega Telecom, now joint-owned by the country’s dominant players PLDT and Globe Telecom following their purchase of the asset from San Miguel Corp (SMC), has reportedly offered PHP2.20 (USD0.047) per share to buy out minority shareholders of Liberty Telecom Holdings Inc (LTHI) prior to the planned delisting of the telecom holdings firm. The Inquirer writes that in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Vega Telecom confirmed its intentions to launch a tender offer for up to 165.88 million common shares representing 12.82% of the issued and outstanding common stock of LTHI. ‘The offer price of PHP2.20 is above, and a premium on, the prospective fair value range of PHP0.08 to PHP0.33 per common share of [the company], as provided in the valuation report and fairness opinion issued by Punongbayan & Araullo, an independent accredited auditor,’ Vega Telecom said in a notice to shareholders of LTHI.
The same source notes, however, that minority shareholders can expect to wait a long time before they sell their holdings. The chair of the local Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Teresita Herbosa, has apparently ruled out any offer going ahead until the row between PLDT/Globe and the government over the joint acquisition of Vega Telecom is resolved. The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has moved to review the joint PHP70 billion buyout plan – something PLDT and Globe are trying to stop through the courts.