Biz Buzz: Pacquiao’s ‘cribs’ for sale
Just how deep in a financial hole is boxing champion Manny Pacquiao?
Of course, we all know that the Bureau of Internal Revenue has dunned the gentleman from Saranggani for P2.2 billion in back taxes. And we all know that the US Internal Revenue Service has frozen a couple of his bank accounts in the United States with at least $18 million in them.
So where is the future Boxing Hall of Famer getting the money to cover the day-to-day operations of his large entourage?
Biz Buzz learned that Pacquiao has recently put on the selling block at least two of his houses in a bid to better balance his books.
One property is a 600-square-meter house and lot in Multinational Village in Parañaque, which is going for about P17 million.
Another property that was put up for sale is a 700-square-meter house and lot near Brent School in Laguna. That one, we hear, is going for about P15 million.
Given that these are houses Pacquiao actually used (as opposed to those owned just as investments), he should have no problem selling these to wealthy friends who want to own and live in what may turn out to be pieces of boxing history.
But the potential proceeds from the sale of these properties would be tiny drops in the big bucket that represents his financial challenges.
We hear that even his mansion in North Forbes (bought from RCBC president Lorenzo Tan, partially financed by a bank loan) is weighing heavily on him, with monthly amortization and assorted expenses costing him some P7 million a month.
So what else could Pacquiao plunk into the pile? Well, there’s that rose gold Patek Phillipe watch he’s always wearing.
That’s worth at least P1.5 million, we hear.—Daxim L. Lucas
The row between the top two bidders for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport deal is turning uglier by the minute with No. 2 bidder, the Filinvest Group (and partner of Changi Airports), still bent on getting frontrunner Megawide-GMR disqualified.
A key argument, which has been printed here and every other media outlet, was the reported poor track record of GMR, an Indian company, despite all bidders passing the prequalification and technical evaluation stages.
Recently, attacks have shifted to the alleged conflict of interest involving GMR and its long-time airport partner Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd. This is a claim GMR-Megawide said it had explained to the Department of Transportation and Communications’ bid and awards committee, which has deferred the award of the country’s biggest PPP deal thus far while it looks into the matter.
A change of tack might be necessary given a “past” with an interesting twist involving Filinvest and GMR. It appears that what Filinvest claims to be an unsuitable operator for Cebu’s main airport may have been a potential partner, that is if GMR had not rejected Filinvest before.
An e-mail exchange obtained by BizBuzz details how Filinvest, one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, had pursued a partnership with GMR and it was suggested that negotiations were in the advanced stages.
Because of disagreements in certain commercial terms and risks the Filipino-Chinese group was wary about, GMR suggested in its response that they part ways for now given the short time left.
We could not directly quote the letters nor add too many details, due to their confidential nature, but these were exchanged over a span of two days in late February 2013, months before the submission of prequalification documents in April last year.
GMR eventually met with Megawide, a relatively smaller company compared with the giants that the Mactan-Cebu Airport public private partnership deal drew, and they apparently hit it off right away, a source from that camp told BizBuzz.
That partnership eventually went on to outbid six other groups with a P14.4-billion offer, just P400 million above Filinvest-Changi last Dec. 12.
As far as expensive breakups go, this may rank way up on that list.—Miguel R. Camus
Fireworks at Cebu Skies
After a barrage of criticisms questioning the capability of Indian firm GMR—the partner of local construction firm Megawide Construction Corp.—to undertake the hotly contested Mactan-Cebu International Airport modernization project, the Department of Transportation and Communications’ (DOTC) prequalification bids and awards committee (PBAC) was asked to look at more issues. In particular, the government was asked to scrutinize alleged violation of provisions against conflict of interest.
This “conflict of interest” angle stems from the existing partnership between GMR and Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB, the partner of the Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings in the Cebu airport bidding) in GMR’s airport projects—those in Delhi, Hyderabad, Istanbul—as well as the project in the Maldives which was cancelled. As such, there are calls from a rival to disqualify both the GMR and Megawide (the front-runner), and the FPH-MAHB consortia.
But while the DOTC has delayed the awarding of the project to the highest bidder, GMR-Megawide, to give due process to complaints, we heard that the government had looked at the issue but appeared satisfied with the explanation made by the GMR-Megawide group that GMR and MAHB had participated in this project with their respective partners at arm’s length. Industry sources said the DOTC had asked the GMR-Megawide consortium to simply submit a certification that MAHB had no involvement in the consortium and in the Cebu airport project.
For its part, the GMR-Megawide group published a series of paid advertisements to address “malicious” and “utterly baseless” allegations against GMR.
GMR has never lost a bidding before and the luck seems to have rubbed off on local partner Megawide, which earlier bagged two school infrastructure PPP projects as well as the Philippine Orthopedic build-operate-transfer project. Will the winning streak continue with the Cebu airport project? We’ll know in the next few days.—Doris C. Dumlao
BDO investment chief retiring
Marvin Fausto, chief investment officer of Banco de Oro Unibank, will soon take a grand vacation with his family after a 17-year career at the country’s largest bank (including several years at PCI Bank).
At 52, he is described by some people who know him as “old enough to retire but young enough to pursue other things.”
Fausto has officially filed a request for an early retirement. If approved by the BDO board, his retirement will take effect at the end of February.
We hear that after taking a long break, Fausto plans to go into business.
Over the years, however, Fausto has made it his lifetime advocacy to help empower Filipinos through prudence in handling hard-earned money. He and wife, Mary Rose—likewise a financial literacy advocate and author of best-selling book “Raising Pinoy Boys”—have raised their three boys Martin, Enrique and Anton to be high-FQ (financial quotient) kids who regularly save and invest. The Fausto kids, who are now young adults, choose their stocks, monitor and update their portfolio and discuss their investment strategy with their parents.—Doris C. Dumlao
Punongbayan joins Deloitte
Punongbayan & Araullo (P&A) is taking on a new international allegiance under the banner of UK-based audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. P&A struck a deal with Deloitte’s local representative firm Navarro Amper & Co. to combine their operations into a single partnership.
The union will be known as Punongbayan Amper & Co. and will be a member of the international network of Deloitte, the largest among the “Big Four” professional services firm worldwide. It will also emerge as one of the largest professional services firms in the Philippines, with total annual revenue of P1.2 billion, 34 partners and more than 1,000 employees.
Under a memorandum of agreement, the parties will conduct due diligence on their respective businesses, with the merger expected to be completed by July 1 this year.
Upon the merger, P&A founder Ben Punongbayan will be appointed chair while Greg Navarro, the current managing partner and chief executive officer of NA&Co, will be managing partner and CEO, while Marivic Españo, current chair and CEO of P&A, will take on the role of deputy managing partner.
“This merger with P&A creates tremendous opportunities. Together, we will have more resources and capabilities to serve our clients and provide a more attractive and exciting place to work for our people,” said Navarro.—Doris C. Dumlao
From Paris to the Philippines
No less than the president of the prestigious Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), touted as the governing body for many automotive racing events across the globe, is set to arrive in the country later this month to grace an event hosted by the Department of Tourism and the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP).
Jean Todt, president of FIA, will be the keynote speaker for the first Asia-Pacific Drive Tourism Conference, Travel and Auto Show, which will be held in Subic Bay Freeport from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2.
For many car and racing enthusiasts, the arrival of the French motoring group executive does not only signal a good start for the industry, but is also expected to “rev up” tourism in the country.
Todt, who was elected to a second term as president of the FIA just last month, was also the Ferrari Formula One team director when Michael Schumacher won the world driver’s championship for seven years in a row.
Prior to joining Ferrari, Todt was the motorsport director of the PSA Citroen Peugeot Group. Joining Todt in the upcoming conference will be FIA Region 2 (Asia-Pacific) president Ross Heron who will provide an update on the region’s workplan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety. Other speakers at the event also include India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes and Sri Lanka’s Transport Minister Kumara Welgama, who is expected to speak on innovative and sustainable programs for road safety.—Amy R. Remo
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