Filipino telecoms giant PLDT Inc. is considering the sale of its remaining stake in Germany’s Rocket Internet, which has a current market valuation of PHP2.5 billion (USD49.5 million), with chief finance officer Anabelle Chua saying a deal to monetise its asset could take place next year.
The Philippine Star cites Ms Chua as saying that PLDT has already reduced its holding to 1.9 million shares in the Berlin-based company noting: ‘That’s traded in the market, so we’re free to dispose of that anytime there is a good opportunity out there,’ but went on to point out that a deal is unlikely to take place in the current fiscal year. Rocket Internet specialises in building online start-ups and owns shareholdings in various internet retail businesses. PLDT acquired PHP18 billion worth of shares in Rocket Internet back in 2014 but has since divested 4.1% of its 6.1% stake for a consideration of PHP10.5 billion – using the proceeds to help fund its PHP58 billion CAPEX drive in FY 2018.
‘I think taken from a purely financial perspective, it was a misstep. A small misstep, but a giant step towards realising ourself investing in digital. On the whole, it turned out to be not so bad. In a way, we have to be patient on these things,’ said PLDT president and chief executive officer Manuel Pangilinan when asked about the company’s investment in Rocket Internet.