Ongpin’s Philweb stake up for sale | Inquirer Business

Ongpin’s Philweb stake up for sale

By: - Business Features Editor / @philbizwatcher
/ 12:40 AM August 11, 2016

Businessman Roberto V. Ongpin has put on the auction block his controlling stake in gaming technology service provider Philweb Corp., hoping this would take the heat off the company which recently lost its license to service Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. (Pagcor)’s network of e-games cafes.

Philweb, which was valued by the market at around P35 billion before President Duterte assumed office, saw its value dropped to P6.1 billion as of Wednesday.  This was after the President issued strong statements against online gaming and, a week ago, pointed to Ongpin as an “oligarch” who must be “destroyed.”

The company has been forced to wind down its operations as a service provider to Pagcor’s e-Games network starting midnight of Wednesday as its intellectual property licensing and management agreement (IPLMA) contract had not been renewed.


In an emergency meeting of Philweb shareholders Wednesday, Ongpin announced he would sell his 771.7 million shares equivalent to 53.76 percent to the highest bidder.


“I am doing this auction so that I will be totally out of the picture and the innocent bystanders, such as the shareholders, the employees of Philweb Corp., the e-Games operators, their collective employees which number some 5,000 people, may be able to save their jobs,” Ongpin said.

The open auction will close by Aug. 17 (Wednesday) next week.

“I need to be out of the way, that’s clear,” Ongpin said. “I just want to step out of the way and hopefully, things will normalize.”

The businessman earlier stepped down as chair of Philweb but he noted that this was not enough for Pagcor to have a change of heart.  Ongpin said he was not aware of any reason why he would incur the wrath of the President. He had never stepped on the toes of the new president or any of his close associates, he said.

“The lightning bolt was obviously meant for me and not for the other shareholders of Philweb numbering about 1,500, the employees of Philweb numbering 679 people nor the 135 entities who operate 286 e-Games outlets throughout the country who employ an estimated 5,000 people,” Ongpin said. “They are all innocent bystanders who, beginning midnight tonight, will be all out of job.”

Ongpin also agreed to give the winning bidder a way out if the bidder would be unable to obtain a renewal from Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. of the license to operate on or before Aug. 31.



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TAGS: Business, economy, News, Philweb, Roberto V. Ongpin, stake

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