Ongpin rekindles auction of Philweb stake
BUSINESSMAN Roberto V. Ongpin has again put on the auction block his 53.76 percent stake in Philweb Corp. after the state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) rejected his proposal to donate the shares to the gaming regulator.
In a letter to Philweb board and employees dated Sept.4, Ongpin said: “It is with deep regret that I am hereby informing you that I have decided to divest of my entire holdings in PhilWeb Corporation..”
“For the purpose of the orderly and timely disposal of my shares, I am presently in discussions with several investment banking firms who I intend to retain for this purpose, since I am presently in Europe and will not return to Manila until several weeks from now,” Ongpin said.
After having resigned as chair of PhilWeb, and after having made several offers to Pagcor – all of which had been either rejected or ignored – Ongpin said it became obvious to him that while he remains a shareholder of PhilWeb, there’s no chance that PhilWeb would be allowed any favorable reception on any proposal to Pagcor.
One of Ongpin’s earlier proposal was to donate a 49 percent stake in Philweb to Pagcor itself and another 4.7 percent stake to the Ateneo de Manila University JVO (Jaime V. Ongpin) Scholarship.
“Thus, in an effort to save the company, its employees and the some 5,000 employees of the e-Games operators, I have come to the decision to divest of my entire holdings,” he said.
From the proceeds of this divestment, Ongpin said he intended to donate the sum of P1 billion towards the government’s drug rehabilitation program, which incidentally was the same amount that San Miguel Corp. has pledged to donate for this program.
“It is heartbreaking for me to in effect abandon PhilWeb and all of its directors and employees who have, over the past 16 years, helped me grow it to be a successful and profitable enterprise. Regrettably, it appears that I have no other choice but to totally exit from the company for it to have a chance to survive,” Ongpin said.
Ongpin thanked the board and Philweb employees for their help and understanding all these
Pres. Duterte earlier identified Ongpin as an “oligarch” whom he would bring down under his term.
Philweb’s license as a gaming technology provider to Pagcor’s nationwide network of e-Games cafes had not been renewed in Aug. 10.