MVP's Spanish expedition | Inquirer Business

MVP’s Spanish expedition

/ 12:57 AM September 05, 2014

Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan a.k.a. MVP brought a team of top executives to Spain to cheer their hearts out for Team Gilas at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

But fielding corporate honchos from all key local business units of First Pacific as Gilas groupies is just one part of this MVP expedition.


Before heading to Spain, Team MVP dropped by Germany to strengthen newfound ties with technology company Rocket Internet—which isn’t really a surprise as flagship Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. recently invested in this incubator of popular Internet/e-commerce platforms like Lazada and Zalora.

And while in Spain backing Gilas’ valiant Fiba crusade, Team MVP lost no time scouting for prospective investments, partnerships and alliances. In between basketball games, they met up with several big Spanish firms to discuss possibilities for the future.


Biz Buzz heard that among the Spanish companies that MVP had touched base with were Indra and Globalvia Infraestructuras S.A.

The meetings covered common interests in infrastructure, power including renewable energy, water, smart grids, telecommunications and innovative technology.

The goals? “For investment, to partner up to invest in the Philippines and the region, or to secure the latest technology,” a source from the MVP group said.

Indra is a leading telecommunications and technology company in Spain while Globalvia develops and manages infrastructure assets in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Mexico, with a particular focus on highway and railroad assets.

After the Fiba games, some MVP team members are headed for London for more meetings while some will fly back home to the tropics. Others will stay a bit longer in Spain to work on the Philippines’ bid to host Fiba World Cup four years from now. Apart from heading the First Pacific group and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, the buzz is that MVP is also being asked to be a member of Fiba’s highest governing body, potentially bringing his sports patron status to a new level. Doris C. Dumlao

Banana feat

Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco)—the crown jewel of Davao-based Floirendo family, one of Mindanao’s richest clans—became the first Philippine firm to be among the world’s “best practitioners of sustainable agriculture” based on the roster of Netherlands-based Global Good Agricultural Practice (Global G.A.P.).


This award recognizes the success by Tadeco and parent firm Anflocor group in “achieving sustainable production, environmental, community and labor practices on one of the world’s highest yielding banana plantations.”

Through partner Del Monte, the group exports Philippine bananas to key markets including Japan, Korea, China and the Middle East.

Global G.A.P.’s certification allows Tadeco to join the ranks of other global corporations, including Chiquita, Dole, Chipotle and Marks & Spencer.

Based on its profile at Global G.A.P.’s website, Tadeco was founded in 1950 by the late Don AOF (Antonio Floirendo Sr.), who transformed a vast, swampy land in Southeastern Mindanao into an enormous 6,628-hectare contiguous banana plantation, “unfalteringly bringing premium and export-grade Cavendish bananas to the dining table of our customers all over the globe.” This massive banana farm yields almost 5,000 boxes of bananas per hectare each year and produces at least 30 million boxes of banana each year.

Apart from its commitment to take extra care in handling its produce to maintain optimum quality and highest standards of food safety, Tadeco has a commitment to become a good corporate citizen by sharing its blessings with its workers and the community, integrating environmental protection measures in daily operations and developing income-generating projects (artistic native products out of the banana by-products and other indigenous materials like abaca and pineapple fiber and coco beads) for family members of Tadeco employees. Doris C. Dumlao

BDO on a roll

You’d think that they’d stop to rest on their laurels for a while, but such is not the case for Sy family-controlled BDO Unibank.

On top of the awards it garnered in recent weeks, BDO also earned its second consecutive “Best Bank in the Philippines” award from the London-based financial publication Euromoney during its recently concluded 2014 Awards for Excellence.

The win was a result of the bank’s 2013 performance, including having posted a record net income of P22.6 billion.

“It achieved a good balance of businesses, with robust lending operations combined with steady fee-based revenue generators and exceptional trading gains,” said Euromoney in its July 2014 issue.

Euromoney’s Awards for Excellence cover more than 20 global product categories, best-in-class awards in all regions and the best banks in close to 100 countries around the world.

The publication also recognized BDO’s strength in corporate lending and in project finance “to support the government’s infrastructure thrust”.

It added, “It also continues to strengthen its international lending desks to service the banking needs of foreign commercial interests in the country. Implementing these strategies resulted in the bank frequently outpacing the industry in terms of loan growth.”

Incidentally, the former PCIBank—one of the banks that BDO eventually acquired (via Equitable PCI Bank) during its expansion drive over the last decade—was also a frequent winner of the Euromoney Awards when the bank was being run by the late Rafael Buenaventura.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that BDO is now headquartered in the very same building that used to serve as PCIBank’s head office. Daxim L. Lucas

PAL deal delayed, again

The much awaited deal between tycoons Lucio Tan and Ramon Ang over the fate of Philippine Airlines will not happen today, after the camp of the former asked that scheduled meeting and agreement signing be postponed to next week.

The last minute postponement means that PAL’s stakeholders will again have to wait a little longer to know who will end up running the flag carrier.

Originally scheduled for today, the handshake between the two business groups would have given Tan about a week to come up with the cash—a little over $1 billion, we hear—to reassert control over the storied airline. (The deal with Ang two years ago gave San Miguel a 49-percent stake in PAL and management control, with Tan’s group particularly eager to get the latter back.)

Meanwhile, Ang—perhaps already exasperated by the back-and-forth, on-again-off-again talks—is reportedly willing to sell PAL back in return for “commensurate compensation.”

But since the ball is in Tan’s court, everyone will just have to wait and see what happens next.

Perhaps stakeholders should just think of it as delayed flight. It will happen sooner or later. But the ETD (estimated time of departure) remains fluid. Daxim L. Lucas

The actress and the network

So this ctress recently made a big announcement that she would no longer be connected to one particular television network.

But wait. Can a contract between the TV network and the actress be abrogated unilaterally?

Biz Buzz learned that this actress’ contract with the network is still in force, despite her announcement.

While the network had initially released a statement thanking her for her service, word was eventually disseminated within the organization that a gag order was now in place. In other words, no one should say anything about it.

The question on everyone’’s mind now, of course, is how she can start other ventures with other TV networks (if any) given that she still has an existing contract with her (former?) home network.

It is also unlikely that she would move back to her former TV network, which— before her departure— had actually conceived a concept of building her up as the Philippine version of Martha Stewart, coupled with an Oprah-style magazine, courtesy of the TV network’s publishing unit.

But alas, the actress was tempted by the rival network’’s offer.

Meanwhile, the localized Martha Stewart concept turned out to be a big hit for another actress who took the slot, and this “replacement” is now raking it in, big time.

According to our source, some network executives at her former home are having second thoughts about taking her back, primarily because “she is very very difficult to work with.”

In any case, the executives in her most recent network home don’’t seem to be losing any sleep about her sudden departure, notwithstanding the sudden void she left, if you could call it that.

Having lured her before to sign with them with a hefty monetary package, the top brass is just too happy to be unburdened of their financial obligations to the actress, we understand.

The network has billions of pesos in red ink to worry about, as it is. Daxim L. Lucas

E-mail us at [email protected]. Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: BDO, Biz Buzz, Business, Fiba World Cup 2014, Gilas Pilipinas, Manny V. Pangilinan, MVP, PAL, Spain, Tadeco, TV5
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