Wack Wack heats upBy the staff |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Some “irate” members of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club are complaining that another scam is unfolding at the exclusive establishment.
According to one source, a group of dissenters is accusing club head Philip Ella Juico of trying to gather support from members to give the incoming board “absolute power” over the club’s transactions. This includes power over matters involving concessionaire fees, management and maintenance and (perhaps most importantly) even the improvement of unused portions of the golf complex for commercial use.
This group of dissenters are also worried by the supposed lack of a proper bidding process that might result in deals that are disadvantageous to the club.
Because of this, both sides of the argument are now trying to court one particular Chinese-Filipino board member—Tan She Ling—who is widely considered to be the swing vote in the controversy.
The thing is, some in the dissenters group are worried that he will likely swing in the direction of Juico (supposedly because he has business ties with Juico’s wife, Margarita).
Already, some members are complaining that the contract for the club’s dredging services were awarded to a favored party.
Now they are also worried that future expansion plans that the new board will roll out would include the prime lot facing Shaw Boulevard (near the bust of club founder Bill Shaw). Supposedly planned for this site is a billion-peso condotel, while the lot directly facing Greenhills Shopping Complex and La Salle Green Hills will be “adjusted” to accommodate a project as big as another shopping complex.
Of course, the most recent stockholders’ meeting lacked quorum so this former government official’s bid to gain “absolute power” was stalled. For now. Daxim L. Lucas
Not so fast, says Juico’s group.
The Wack Wack chief fired back, saying that members of the dissenters’ group—which he called the “white paper group” for their propensity to circulate unsigned critiques—were, in fact, given every opportunity to air their objections and grievances, to little avail.
This group—which has four representatives on Wack Wack’s board of nine directors—failed to show up at no less than two general membership meetings of the prestigious golf club. Not a few members were upset at having to take time off to attend the last meeting (held Sunday, Aug. 18) only to have it nullified by a lack of quorum, caused by the boycott of the dissenting group.
In fact, Juico’s group pointed out that the members of the white paper group have been absent at least half of the time during seven or eight board meetings held so far this year (“One comes in late and leaves before the meeting is adjourned.”).
More importantly, Juico’s group said that the real agenda of the white paper group was to reinstate a former company playing representative (i.e. an official of a firm which owns club shares) “whose pattern of disorderly behavior included forcing open, in a drunken stupor, private lockers of [Wack Wack] members.”
“The ‘white paper group’ wants to deny the board (and the proprietary members) the right to accept or deny membership applications and bring it to an expensive third-party arbitration mechanism to pave the way for the return of that ex-member who is not a model of proper decorum,” Juico’s group said. “For everyone’s information, there is no such arbitration mechanism in other private clubs.”
As for accusations that they wanted “absolute power,” Juico’s group dismissed this, saying that their actions belied this, pointing to the sharp improvement in the club’s finances recently (including an increase in the value of Wack Wack shares to the present P18.5 million from only P7 million when Juico assumed office in 2010).
In any case, watch for more fireworks among the country’s well-heeled golf aficionados. Daxim L. Lucas
Property for oil swap
The Ramos family-led Anglo Philippine Holdings Corp. unloaded on Tuesday its entire 4.5-percent stake (214.14 million) in upscale property developer Shang Properties. This was consummated through a special block sale at the local stock exchange at about P3.635 a share (a premium of 10 percent from Friday’s close of P3.30) for a total block price of about P778 million.
The buyer was yet to be disclosed, but stock market pundits expect this to be simply part of the portfolio realignment of the Ramos family. Specifically, many are betting that Anglo’s stake in Shang Properties would be swapped for additional shares in oil exploration firm The Philodrill Corp. (OV). “Maybe Anglo thinks Philodrill is a better investment at this point and they’re going to produce more if oil prices rise,” one stock trader said.
Philodrill, also led by the Ramos family, chalked up a consolidated net income of P156.6 million in the first semester, more than double the level a year ago. This firm has active petroleum projects covering production and exploration areas in offshore Palawan, South Sulu Sea and onshore Mindoro. It is part of the Galoc oilfield consortium. In the financial services sector, it has a 40-percent stake in investment house Penta Capital Investment Corp.
For its part, Anglo has interest in three key businesses: Natural resources, property development and infrastructure holding firm. If and when Anglo indeed takes additional Philodrill shares, it’s thus increasing its focus on the extraction business. The company owns 100 percent of Vulcan Materials Corp., 21.81 percent of United Paragon Mining Corp., 8.27 percent of Atlas Mining and has direct participation in various oil exploration contracts outside of its interest in Philodrill. Doris C. Dumlao
Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).