BIZ BUZZ: Davao grabs Head balls

The biggest tennis ball production hub in the world will soon rise at Anflo Industrial Estates in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

In three months, Austrian-American sports equipment and apparel manufacturer Head Sports, which controls 40 percent of the global tennis ball market, will complete its factory.

Through Head Sport Philippines Inc., a Philippine Economic Zone Authority-registered company, the group had acquired with local partners 50,679 square meters of land to build on its new hub, where it will consolidate operations.

“What’s interesting is that right now, their main facility is in China. Once this is operational, they will slowly phase in everything here,” said Ricardo “Cary” Florendo Lagdameo, president of Damosa Land, developer of the industrial park.

With this big-ticket investment, Head will become the single biggest locator at Anflo Industrial Estates, the first fully operational industrial park in Davao.

While Head has pretty much maximized the area that it purchased, Lagdameo said it was already looking at the adjacent property for future expansion.

Head had long wanted to set up a production hub specifically in Mindanao, because of the proximity of rubber suppliers. Damosa Land, which started talking with the foreign firm in 2018, likewise had the advantage of having Davao International Container Terminal close by. When it came to the toss-up between Cagayan de Oro and Davao del Norte, the latter prevailed.

Once operational, Head Sports factory will create new jobs for about 800 people in Davao.

Lagdameo added that the popularity of padel, another type of racket sport that uses similar balls, has also contributed to the surge in the global business of Head Sports. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Lips are still sealed

When PLDT Inc. and ABS-CBN Corp. decided to abort the P6.75-billion Sky Cable deal, the parties did not specify the reason why, leaving market observers both surprised and clueless. It was a year in the making, after all.

Biz Buzz, however, reported that PLDT allegedly wanted to reduce the P6.75-billion offer to Sky Cable purchase and include new conditions to the transaction. All signs point to parties not agreeing to any changes even after the Philippine Competition Commission gave its go-ahead.

The telco giant finally made an official statement on Tuesday in response to the report about the cancelled multi-billion peso deal but was still mum on the specifics.

PLDT said they did not proceed “due to the non-fulfillment of certain closing conditions, which compelled parties to revisit the commercial terms of the proposed transaction.”

It must be noted that the company did not directly confirm nor deny the details in the Biz Buzz report.

“We trust that the foregoing explanation clarifies matters,” PLDT added. But did it? The parties have yet to disclose these “certain closing conditions” to really inform the market what went down.

Now, the question is: Will the parties eventually explain everything moving forward? Let’s see! — Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Asialink bags P4-B Creador investment

Asialink Finance Corp., a leading local lender to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), has reason to bring out the champagne after getting a P4-billion investment from Malaysian private equity firm Creador.

This investment gives Creador an 18-percent stake in the lending firm, which will in turn use the funds to expand its lending capacity and support the growth of SMEs.

Aside from funding its lending expansion, Asialink said in a statement that Creador will help improve the lender’s operational efficiency, and offer its expertise in business innovation and automation.

“With Creador, Asialink is primed for further growth to help the largely unbanked part of the business community. This partnership is envisioned to strengthen the SMEs and make them a major contributor to economic growth just like in other developed economies”, said Robert Jordan Jr., CEO of Asialink.

Paulton & Company acted as Asialink’s financial advisor for this transaction. —Tina Arceo-Dumlao INQ