Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Uy takes over Vulcan for 3rd telco bid

Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Uy, founder of Converge ICT Solution Inc., is moving to acquire a publicly traded company to support his bid to become the country’s third mobile player.

The Inquirer learned that Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp., a listed shell company held by the Ramos family of the National Bookstore Group, will be acquired by a company called Zap Cove Development Corp.

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Zap Cove, controlled by Uy and hotelier Simon Lee Paz, were said to acquire up to 75.6 percent of Vulcan.

Their plan is to transform Vulcan into a holding company that will venture into the telco sector. This includes buying holding companies engaged in the segment.

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The initial target, a source said, was to buy control of privately held company DKG Trading and Development Corp.

DKG is the holding company of Telecommunications Technology Solutions Inc., the holder of a national telco franchise and one of 10 companies that bought bid documents in the government’s third telco initiative.

Uy told the Inquirer that Telecommunications Technology would be his group’s vehicle to join the third telco selection process, which involves the assignment of coveted 3G, 4G and potential 5G radio frequencies.

He said Telecommunications Technology would team up with KT Corp., South Korea’s largest telco, for its bid. The National Telecommunications Commission earlier set the bid deadline on Nov. 7, 2018.

Uy said his private company Converge ICT was rolling out a nationwide telco backbone, which would save a third telco player around $1.5 billion in capital expenses.

“The third telco winner will not have to spend that much anymore,” Uy said.

He explained that since Converge would possess a backbone similar to those of PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, his group would benefit even if his third telco bid turned out to be unsuccessful. Capital spending could further go down when the government finalizes a policy on cell tower sharing, he said.

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology and the NTC are seeking to award frequencies to a third mobile player that will compete with incumbents PLDT and Globe, which control a market of about 100 million people.

The overall objective is to improve services and lower costs—a key campaign promise of President Duterte.

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TAGS: Converge ICT Solution Inc., Dennis Uy, third mobile player, Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp.
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