Ongpin offers to donate bulk of his PhilWeb shares to PAGCOR

Chrisee Dela Paz
Ongpin offers to donate bulk of his PhilWeb shares to PAGCOR
Businessman Roberto Ongpin also plans to donate the remaining 4.76% to the Ateneo de Manila University JVO Scholarship Fund

MANILA, Philippines – Roberto Ongpin has offered to donate 49% of his entire 53.76% stake in PhilWeb Corporation to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), as he exhausts all means to save the firm from winding down operations.

“Why 49%? This is to simply avoid PhilWeb being classified as a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), which would make the various restrictions applicable to GOCC’s result in making PhilWeb’s operation untenable,” he said in a letter to PAGCOR chief Andrea Domingo on Wednesday, August 17.

Ongpin has also offered to donate the remaining 4.76% to Ateneo de Manila University JVO Scholarship Fund.

Due to news reports that “under no circumstances will the PhilWeb license will be renewed,” Ongpin told Domingo that he will no longer sell his PhilWeb shares through public bidding, declaring it “moot and academic.” (READ: PhilWeb to close e-Games outlets despite Ongpin resignation)

This is despite receiving 5 offers as of 12 noon on Wednesday, Ongpin said in the letter.

It was last week when the embattled businessman and former trade minister announced that he will sell his 771.75 million shares in PhilWeb through an open, public bidding.

But despite this, PAGCOR reportedly stood firm on its ground that it will not renew PhilWeb’s license.

As you know, the bid is contingent on the renewal by PAGCOR of PhilWeb’s license and the reports in the media that the license will not be renewed under any circumstances render the auction process moot and academic,” Ongpin said.

“I am of course assuming that if PAGCOR would own 49% of PhilWeb, it would renew the license to itself and thus, save the livelihood of about 6,000 employees and their families,” he added.

Ongpin resigned as chairman and director of PhilWeb, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte publicly threatened to “destroy” the businessman and other “oligarchs.”

Despite his resignation, PAGCOR decided not to renew PhilWeb’s contract, which expired on August 10.

Share price of PhilWeb on Wednesday, August 17 closed lower by P1 to P6.50 per share.

This means that Ongpin’s 53.76% stake in PhilWeb has a value of a little over P5 billion. –

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