Dennis A. Uy no longer pursuing backdoor listing of Udenna Corp.

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Dennis Uy

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

LISTED ISM Communications Corp. is changing its name to Dito CME Holdings Corp. as it seeks to buy Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Communications Media and Entertainment Holdings Corp.

Also on Tuesday, ISM said the backdoor listing of Mr. Uy’s holding firm Udenna Corp. and the share-swap transaction between the two companies will no longer push through.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, ISM said it gained approval from its board of directors to buy 100% of Udenna Communications, which it will use as the parent firm for Mr. Uy’s telecommunications, media and entertainment businesses.

Mr. Uy owns Dito Telecommunity Corp., the China-backed telecommunications firm that the Philippine government awarded last year to challenge industry giants. Its shareholders are Mr. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and China Telecommunications Corp.

In terms of media assets, Dito earlier signed a contract with ABS-CBN Corp.’s Sky Cable Corp. covering the use of the media firm’s unused fiber optic cables in Metro Manila.

Mr. Uy did not immediately respond when asked what other businesses are expected to join the pool that will form Udenna Communications.

In the same disclosure on Monday, ISM said its board has approved increasing its authorized capital stock to 40 billion common shares from 2.8 billion shares priced at P1 each. It did not disclose further details for the change, noting the terms and conditions of the increase and the subscribers of the new shares are “not yet final.”

“The increase in authorized capital stock is intended to provide the Corporation flexibility in the issuance of shares in order to accommodate the relevant capital expenditure necessary for the Corporation’s intended projects and for general corporate purposes,” ISM said in another disclosure.

Shares in ISM ended Tuesday’s session down 0.52 points or 12.53% to P3.63 apiece.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Senior Research Analyst Japhet Louis O. Tantiangco said this reflects investors’ disapproval of the company’s decision to cancel the backdoor listing for Mr. Uy’s holding firm.

“Investors were expecting ISM to be the backdoor vehicle of Udenna Holdings Corporation. That’s what they were pricing in then suddenly plans changed,” he said in a text message yesterday.

“Judging from today’s price movement, the latest development with ISM had a negative impact on sentiment. The downward bias could continue in the next few trading days following the changes,” he added.

Mr. Uy’s sprawling business empire currently cover oil and petroleum through Phoenix Petroleum Holdings, Inc.; shipping and logistics through Chelsea; real estate through Udenna Development Corp.; environmental, trading and distribution through Udenna Management and Resources Corp.; and energy, water and environmental services through Udenna Water and Integrated Services.

A known supporter of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Mr. Uy also invested in recent years in several businesses across education, food, resorts and gaming and energy. His latest acquisition was the Wendy’s restaurant franchise for the Philippines.