Yehey! seeks digital marketing play on Oct. 18 PSE listingBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Internet solutions firm Yehey! Corp., a subsidiary of Vantage Equities Inc., seeks to bring digital marketing play to the country when it debuts on the Philippine Stock Exchange next Thursday October 18.
Although listing by way of introduction or without an initial public offering, Yehey! will have a public ownership of 33 percent upon listing as its parent company had declared shares in the company as property dividends in 2007 similar to the route taken by the controlling shareholders of Rockwell Land Corp. and Philex Petroleum.
The listing of Yehey! on the local bourse gives the recipient shareholders a way to cash out and for new investors to buy from the open market henceforth. This was thus a fulfillment of the promise made to stockholders of Vantage during the property dividend declaration from way back, said Vantage director Wilson Sy.
After this listing, Sy said Yehey! had no plans to raise additional money from the stock market and would only consider widening the public float if required by the stock exchange.
On Thursday, Yehey! will list 278 million common shares on the PSE’s second board at an initial price of P1 per share, the same as the par value or the entry level of incorporators. The second board is a bourse for smaller-cap companies with high-growth potential.
Established in 1998, Yehey! is a Web-based company offering database search engines and web development/digital design and online marketing/consulting. About 80 percent of its business comes from digital marketing while the rest comes from other media and advertising services.
For instance, Yehey! and SM have a tie-up in “proximity” marketing that blasts brand campaigns to mall-goers over SM’s free WiFi in its shopping malls.
Yehey! general manager Jay Arellano said apart from developing websites and digital campaigns for a number of clients–including those in the fast-moving consumer goods business–the company was also active in the digital reputation management business.
Arellano said the company would also relaunch its portal Yehey.com but provide “more relevant” and “customized” content to today’s audience by acting as an online curator but focusing more on content from quality bloggers rather than traditional publishers.
“We’re one leg of the convergence strategy,” said Antonio Samson, an independent director at Vantage.
“Advertising is going digital,” Samson said, adding that the rising usage and cheaper cost of unlimited Internet would be a key growth driver for Yehey! But apart from advertising which provides no interaction but still useful for brand awareness, Samson said building a brand requires the use of many platforms.
While advertising is usually the first item where corporations cut back spending on when times are hard, Samson said the digital platform could even benefit from the shift or rationalized spending.
Yehey! was put up in 1998 by five college friends from the Ateneo de Manila University who saw the potential of the Internet industry and decided to pursue a project which they envisioned to spoof Yahoo! The company thus started as a search engine specifically for the Filipino community. With the property dividend declaration, Vantage reduced its stake in Yehey! from 98.85 percent to 68.35 percent.
As of end-March this year, the company had a P260.8 million balance sheet. In 2011, it posted a net income of P11.2 million out of P33.85 million revenues. From January to August this year, revenues reached P24 million or about 70 percent of last year’s revenues.
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