Aboitiz ventures into remittance business

MANILA, Philippines – Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Incorporated (AEV), the publicly listed holding and investment company of the Aboitiz group, acquired 51% interest in PETNET, Incorporated, marking its foray into the remittance business.

PETNET is the largest Western Union agent network in the country. In a disclosure to the stock exchange Tuesday, June 2, AEV said it acquired 2.461 million shares in PETNET.

Shares of 1.235 million or equivalent to 25.6% will be acquired from existing PETNET shareholders. The remaining 1.226 million shares equivalent to 25.4% will be subscribed from the unissued capital stock of the remittance firm.

The existing shareholders of PETNET led by its president Larry Ocampo will continue to own 49% interest of the firm.

Founded in 1998, PETNET’s primary purpose was to grow the network of Western Union in the Philippines.

To date, the PETNET network includes over 250 company owned locations and 2,230 sub-agent locations composed of banks, pawnshops, business centers, moneychangers, and supermarkets.

Excited

AEV president and chief executive officer Erramon I. Aboitiz said the firm is excited about the acquisition, as PETNET has a large growth and development potential with the continued increase in remittances from overseas Filipinos and a large opportunity to distribute complementary products through an extensive network of outlets.

“AEV, as new majority owner, can add significant value and boost this development even further,” Aboitiz said.

Aboitiz added that the market for money transfers is very fragmented and said that AEV can add value in PETNET’s strategy to grow and consolidate the market organically.

“We are also open to potential add-on acquisitions, should it fit strategically,” Aboitiz added.

PETNET will continue as a standalone business within the Aboitiz Group. The current management team will be intact.

For his part, Ocampo also welcomed the company’s partnership with the Aboitiz group, and added that PETNET had reached a growth stage where it needs to take some big steps both internally and externally. He said that AEV is the right active owner to support this development.

“Personally, I look forward to the opportunity to take the company through this next growth journey in partnership with AEV,” Ocampo said. – Rappler.com