VULCAN Industrial & Mining Corp. said the firm owned by Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Anthony H. Uy has backed out of the deal to acquire a majority stake in the company.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, Vulcan said it was advised by parent National Book Store, Inc. (NBS) that Mr. Uy’s Zap Cove Development Corp. will “no longer proceed with its proposed transaction.”

Zap Cove signified its intent to acquire a 75.9% stake in Vulcan last year, seen as a move to use it as vehicle for backdoor listing.

The transaction involves Zap Cove’s purchase of NBS’ subscription rights to 486.06 million partially paid shares in Vulcan; assumption of NBS’ obligations for the unpaid subscription price on the said shares worth P457.50 million; and the subscription to 2.55 billion shares in Vulcan’s authorized but unissued capital stock with a par value of P1 per share.

At the same time, Zap Cove previously said it will undergo a capital restructuring process that will allow it to subscribe to the shares in Vulcan. This would have made Mr. Uy and businessman Simon Lee Paz the majority investors in Zap Cove.

Mr. Uy is the founder and the president of telco firm Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., which was among the companies interested in the government’s search for a third telco player last year. The company was supposed to partner with the South Korean telco giant KT Corp., but backed out as it cited the absence of a level playing field amid existing telco players.

Vulcan said it will look for other business opportunities following the cancellation of the deal.

“In light of this development, management will explore other business opportunities and will present the same to the Board of Directors for consideration in due course,” the company said.

In 2017, NBS also dropped its planned backdoor listing via Vulcan, three years after its stake in the firm to 68%. It instead opted to implement a franchising strategy to boost expansion.

Shares in Vulcan fell 10.83% or 13 centavos to close at P1.07 each at the stock exchange on Tuesday. — Arra B. Francia