BIZ BUZZ: Unhappy PHES investors
After waiting for years, minority stockholders are finally taking action in the “much delayed” tender offer of Gatchalian-led Philippine Estates Corp. (PHES).
One of the company’s small stockholders recently wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seeking an update on the mandated buyout offer to minority investors, according to a letter seen by Biz Buzz.
The process should have been triggered after the Gatchalians’ Wellex Group and affiliates gained control of over 50 percent of PHES following a rights offer in December 2021.
The investor also lamented the fact there has been no update on the offer other than PHES’ statement in its latest annual report that its application was pending with the SEC.
The rights offer allowed Wellex Group to gain control of PHES at P1 each. Like many other stocks, the years have not been kind to PHES’ value, whose shares last traded at P0.33 each.
Nevertheless, the stockholder is hoping an eventual tender would be priced “not less” than the company’s book value of P0.75 at the time of the rights sale.
“The extraordinary delay in the consummation of the PHES mandatory tender offer is inconsistent with the interests of public stockholders, the timely implementation of securities laws, and proper corporate governance,” the stockholder wrote.
“The SEC has always been a champion of the rights of minority stockholders and public investors, so I hope that your good office can assist in addressing the foregoing matter. Hopefully PHES fulfills its obligation to complete the mandatory tender offer this year,” he added.