PhilWeb’s new chief Araneta asks Pagcor to renew license

Chrisee Dela Paz
PhilWeb’s new chief Araneta asks Pagcor to renew license
This comes after embattled businessman Roberto Ongpin sold his entire 53.76% stake in PhilWeb to Gregorio 'Greggy' Ma. Araneta III for a discounted price of P2.60 per share

MANILA, Philippines – PhilWeb Corporation’s new chairman, Gregorio “Greggy” Ma. Araneta III, met with Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) officials to apply again for the renewal of PhilWeb’s license to operate e-Games cafes.

The listed gaming technology provider told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that Araneta and PhilWeb president Dennis Valdes on Wednesday, October 12, formally submitted an application for renewal of its omnibus intellectual property license and management agreement.

This agreement will allow PhilWeb to operate its 286 e-Games cafes.

Ahead of the application, Roberto Ongpin sold his entire 53.76% stake in PhilWeb to the company of Araneta, son-in-law of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, for a discounted price of P2.60 per share. 

Mandatory tender offer

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed Araneta to offer to buy out the minority shareholders of PhilWeb, as stated by the Securities Regulation Code (SRC) rules.

SRC rules require any person or group owning at least 35% of the outstanding voting shares of a listed company to conduct a tender offer for the shares held by its minority investors.

The SEC also asked Araneta’s firm, Gregorio Araneta Incorporated, to submit a timeline for its tender offer, considering its 53.76% stake in PhilWeb.

Ongpin let go of his entire stake in PhilWeb to convince the government to renew PhilWeb’s online gaming license. (READ: PhilWeb reveals ‘main reason’ behind Ongpin resignation)

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 and several revisions of proposals, Pagcor decided not to renew PhilWeb’s contract, which expired on August 10.

This is why the embattled businessman decided to sell all his PhilWeb shares to Araneta, who also has business interests in energy and property development.

Pagcor has yet to respond if it will study PhilWeb’s application for license renewal.

For the past 14 years, PhilWeb has been listed on the PSE, serving as a service provider to Pagcor in the management of its e-Games network. – 

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