ABS-CBN set to form JV with Ever Bilena
Media giant ABS-CBN Corp.’s diversification into new business fields has always been more than a cosmetic shift—until an announcement on Friday.
The company disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange a plan to form a joint venture with Ever Bilena Cosmetics, the makeup brand that gained mass appeal when it was started by entrepreneur Dioceldo Sy in the 1980s.
Under the agreement, ABS-CBN and Ever Bilena will establish a 50-50 company that will manufacture and sell makeup products.
“The two industry leaders aim to provide consumers with cosmetic products that are affordable and with good quality,” ABS-CBN said in its filing.
The move is in step with ABS-CBN goal to cut its dependence on television adverting, which still delivers around half of its revenues.
ABS-CBN also disclosed yesterday that it had joined the fray in the digital payments arena via a new venture that could compete with more established players such as Paymaya and GCash.
ABS-CBN said in a stock exchange filing that it had sealed an agreement with Filipino fintech firm iBayad Online Ventures Inc., a budding company in mobile payments and e-commerce.
The two will form a joint venture to be capitalized with an initial P100 million. ABS-CBN will take a 51 percent stake with the remainder held by iBayad.
“The JV will enable the provision to customers and merchants of e-wallet and e-money services and other related services,” ABS-CBN said in the filing.
The move will give ABS-CBN a footprint in the Philippines’s digital payments segment, where transactions are expected to hit $7.35 billion this year and are forecasted to increase to $11.8 billion by 2023, according to data from Statista.
Mobile payments alone offer large opportunities for businesses given the country’s growing smartphone and internet penetration and the historical low level of access to traditional banking services.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said last year that some 77 percent of Filipino adults did not own a bank account. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS
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