Dennis Uy buys stake in ISM for P1.28B

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Dennis Uy

DAVAO-BASED businessman Dennis A. Uy continues his acquisition spree with the purchase of P1.28 billion worth of shares in listed firm ISM Communications Corp.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, ISM said its executive committee has approved the subscription of Mr. Uy’s Dennison Holdings Corp. to 883.73 million unissued common shares of the company at P1.45 per share.

The subscription is equivalent to 45.13% of the company’s outstanding total stock.

ISM said 25% of the transaction value will be paid upon subscription, while the remaining 75% will be paid by the end of the year.

Incorporated in 1925 originally as a mining company carrying the name Itogon-Suyoc Mines, Inc., ISM transformed itself into a company engaged in information technology, multimedia communications, and other similar industries in the early 2000s.

The company then secured approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to change its primary purpose to that of a holding firm in 2016.

ISM has a 32% stake in German firm Acentic GmbH, which provides internet connectivity and inter-room entertainment solutions for the hospitality industry. It also owns 37.1% of the Philippine Bank of Communications.

The company reported attributable losses worth P17.2 million in the second quarter of 2018, amid gross revenues of P60,000. Year-to-date, its net loss attributable to the parent stood at P12.2 million, on the back of P120,000 in revenues.

ISM’s market capitalization stood at P2.99 billion at the end of Thursday’s trading. Shares in the company jumped 14.75% or 41 centavos to close at P3.19 each at the stock exchange on Thursday.

A known friend of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Mr. Uy has been aggressively expanding his business since the start of the president’s term in 2016. His holding firm Udenna Corp. has a diverse range of companies under its control, including Phoenix Petroleum Holdings, Inc., Chelsea Logistics Holding Corp., Udenna Development Corp. (UDEVCO), and Udenna Management and Resources Corp.

Last year, Mr. Uy added an education segment to his business through the acquisition of Enderun Colleges located in Taguig.

He also purchased the local operator of Family Mart convenience stores last October through Phoenix Petroleum.

The businessman further bought a 62.006% share in Philippine H2O Ventures Corp. last year through UDEVCO. The transaction was seen as a potential backdoor listing move for Mr. Uy’s property firm.

Mr. Uy earlier said that his group plans to list Lapu-Lapu Land Corp., Udenna’s leisure arm which is currently developing a $341-million integrated resort and casino in Cebu. — Arra B. Francia