Liberty Telecoms could exit market next month

21 Oct 2016

Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc. (LTHI) is considering a voluntary stock market delisting next month. San Miguel Corp’s LTHI was taken over by the country’s two dominant operators, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, in May this year, in a controversial PHP69.1 billion (USD1.48 billion) deal. Now, LTHI has disclosed that: ‘After due evaluation and study of the options available to the company, the Board of Directors approved and authorised the voluntary delisting of the company’s shares from the Philippine Stock Exchange.’ The proposed date of delisting has been moved to 21 November from the previous schedule of 31 October, reflecting the tender offer period’s extension ordered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The tender offer was concluded yesterday (Thursday).

Business World Online reports that local analysts had expected PLDT/Globe vehicle Vega Telecom to buy out minority shareholders in LTHI at around PHP5 per share, considering its frequency allocation that included a portion of the coveted 700MHz band. The frequencies, however, were transferred to another subsidiary – BellTel – as early as March 2015, although LTHI did not disclose the transaction until releasing its latest quarterly report posted on the stock exchange website on 15 August. The nondisclosure raised questions about the valuation of shares in LTHI and prompted the SEC ‘to probe the listed company for possible violations of disclosure rules’.

Philippines, Liberty Telecoms Holdings (Tori Spectrum, formerly Wi-Tribe)