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MVP’s P20B tech investment bust: PLDT can gain P2B by divesting all its shares with Rocket Internet tender offer

Bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan can still scrape as much as P2 billion from PLDT’s remaining stake in Rocket Internet with the German tech bubble bust’s plan to delist its shares from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

PLDT still has a 1.4 percent stake in Rocket as of 30 June 2020 which it could dispose of if it chose to avail of Rocket’s plan to buy back its shares with a tender offer of 18.57 euros per share (delisting is still subject to approval).

This is much lower than Rocket’s tender offer of 24 euros in 2018 and less than half its initial public offering price of 42.50 euros in 2014.

Market pundits believe Rocket’s tender offer is a good opportunity for PLDT to finally end its nightmarish investment in the much-hyped startup builder and e-commerce investor which touted itself in the ranks of Amazon and Alibaba.

Pangilinan pumped in 333 million euros (P19.577 billion) from cash and borrowings for PLDT’s initial 10 percent stake in Rocket in 2014.

Rocket’s stock, however, tanked spectacularly since it got listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2016.

In 2018, Rocket bought back a big chunk of PLDT’s shares in the company for 163 million euros (P10.059 billion) which left the telecom giant with a two percent stake in the company from six percent (post-IPO).

Over the last two years, PLDT sold another P40 million euros (P2.367 billion) worth of shares to reduce its stake in Rocket to 1.4 percent.

PLDT booked a P362 million loss on its Rocket investment due to the sharp plunge in its share price.

Surely, one doesn’t need to call a friend whether PLDT should fully divest from Rocket. and use whatever it could scrape from this bad investment for its capital expenses.

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