By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

AGRIBUSINESS firm Calata Corp. is drawing up plans to list the company’s shares in the global cryptocurrency exchange, as it faces involuntary delisting from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Calata Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph H. Calata said exchanging the company shares into digital tokens similar to Bitcoin would be the best option for Calata, given that it would be unable to comply with the tender offer proposed by the PSE.

“I want our company to be at the forefront of cryptocurrency, we will be the first to be used as a real currency to buy goods or services in the Philippines…The market for CalCoins will not just be the Philippines but the rest of the world,” Mr. Calata said in a press briefing in Makati on Monday.

To do this, the company will be issuing digital tokens to shareholders in exchange for each share, which will then be called CalCoins.

Pag nag-issue ako ng digital token, magkakaroon ng contract na yung shares mo is equal to digital token na yun. Yan naman ang nangyayari na ngayon, so we just have to embrace the technology,” Mr. Calata explained.

With the shift to cryptocurrency, Calata shares will be traded along with the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.

The executive said they are already holding talks with three European companies that deal with cryptocurrency, in order to list the shares within two months.

Calata will be holding a shareholders’ meeting during this period to secure their approval. Should shareholders reject the proposed plan, Mr. Calata explained they will just be holding the shares of the firm like a private company.

“They will just hold the Calata share, we’ll still push through with the plans… If they don’t agree, nandun lang yun, maghihintay ng dividends,” Mr. Calata said.

Also, Mr. Calata claimed turning the shares into cryptocurrency would not require regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission or Philippine Stock Exchange, noting this is beyond their jurisdiction.

He added exchanging shares into digital currencies would be the only way for shareholders to encash their investments in Calata, noting that a tender offer would be impossible for the company.

Mr. Calata said the company only has retained earnings of around P400 million versus the P1.2 billion estimated amount it would need to conduct a tender offer, based on a share price of P3 to P4 apiece.

Even then, Mr. Calata noted they might not be able to pay shareholders as creditors would be the first in line to receive cash in the event of the company’s liquidation.

Para magawa yun, we need to liquidate the company, if that happens creditors ang unang mabibigyan, banks, and suppliers,” Mr. Calata said.

Trading of Calata shares have been suspended since June 30 due to various violations under the PSE’s disclosure rules, including the so-called blackout rule that prevents top officials of a listed firm to trade shares in the company they manage. The PSE has since conducted involuntary delisting procedures for the firm on account of the violations.

Referring to news reports that the PSE has already approved the company’s delisting, Mr. Calata said they have yet to receive formal communication from the bourse announcing its decision.