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Singaporean firm gets 40% of SkyCable

By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:58:00 05/12/2011

Filed Under: Mergers - Acquisitions - Takeovers, Satellite & Cable Services, business, Internet, Television

MANILA, Philippines?Singaporean private investment firm STT Communications Ltd. has infused fresh capital into SkyCable to fund the expansion of the latter?s broadband Internet and pay TV services.

SkyCable?s parent firm ABS-CBN Corp. on Thursday disclosed that Sampaquita Communications Pte Ltd., a unit of STT, had acquired a 40-percent economic interest in SkyCable through the purchase of P3.612 billion worth of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDR) and P250 million in convertible notes.

The PDRs and notes were issued by SkyCable?s parent firm Sky Vision Corp., which is owned by ABS-CBN (80 percent) and Lopez Holdings (20 percent).

?SkyCable will be able to leverage on the technical expertise of STT and continue providing its customers with innovative, world-class services as it expands its Pay TV and high-speed broadband service offerings,? ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III said in a statement.

About P2.6 billion of the PDRs were backed by ABS-CBN shares in SkyCable, while the rest were newly issued PDRs, raising P1.45 billion in fresh funds that can be used for the cable firm?s capital expenditures.

?We continue to monetize our investment in SkyCable,? ABS-CBN chief financial officer Rolando Valdueza said.

Foreign companies are barred by the Constitution from acquiring interests in local media companies.

However, acquiring PDRs, which are backed by shares in the company but do not have voting rights, allows STT to benefit from SkyCable?s earnings without having any influence in the company?s board.

The sale of PDRs, finalized at the end of March, helped lift ABS-CBN?s profit in the first quarter to P976 billion, 10 percent lower than the yield recorded in the same period last year.



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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