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PLDT subsidiary sold majority of its Rocket Internet stake

As an outcome of the sale, the Manuel Pangilinan-led PLDT Incorporated’s equity ownership in Rocket Internet SE is chopped down from 6.1% to 2%.

Ronald Delos Santos



PLDT subsidiary sold majority of its Rocket Internet stake

A unit of PLDT Incorporated sold majority of its shares in Rocket Internet SE, a German Internet company headquartered in Berlin, for a total of about €163.2 million (P10.10 billion), with the proceeds going toward its historic high capital expenditure (capex) budget for this year.

PLDT told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, May 7, that its wholly-owned subsidiary, PLDT Online Investments Private Limited, has accepted the public share purchase offer for at least 6.8 million of its Rocket Internet shares, or about 67.4 percent of the total number it directly holds.

PLDT’s shares in the Rocket Internet were valued at €24 (P1,485.92) each.

PLDT said Rocket Internet — which builds online startups and owns shareholdings in various models of internet retail businesses — will settle the consideration on or prior to May 14.

As a result of its shares sale, PLDT’s equity ownership in Rocket Internet was lessened from 6.1% to 2%.

During Rocket Internet’s debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) dating back in October 2, 2014, its share price was at €37 (P2,382.71) each.

On Monday, Rocket Internet shares nosedived to €24.56 (P1,520.84) each.

In August 2017, Rocket Internet announced the buyback of over 15.47 million shares through a public share purchase offer, for €24 per share.

Three years prior to that, PLDT invested €333 million ($362 million) for a 10-percent stake in the European company, marking its biggest international investment to date. It was then weaken further to a 6.1% ownership stake.

For the remaining 2-percent stake in Rocket Internet, PLDT chairman Manuel “Many” V. Pangilinan said he is not in a rush to ditch of all of it, as the telecommunication and ISP company banks on the optimistic prospects of the Berlin-based technology investor’s financial performance in the coming months.

“There’s no pressure on the part of PLDT to dispose [of] the remaining one-third,” according to Pangilinan. –