PLDT poised to sell majority stake in Voyager to foreign investors

PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said the company has signed a non-binding term sheet for the selling of its majority stake in Voyager Innovations this week, after foreign investors expressed interest in acquiring controlling stake in the digital innovations unit.

Voyager Innovations president and CEO Doy Vea speaking during the inauguration of the new Voyager office in Mandaluyong City in December 2017

Pangilinan explained that investors were interested in various platforms being offered by Voyager on the digital payment platform, PayMaya, and free Internet service, freenet.

“From our standpoint, it will be a partnership with these foreign investors in Voyager. PLDT is likely to remain the single largest investor in Voyager, but the foreign investors, as a group, would like to take a majority position,” he said in a press briefing held Thursday, Aug. 10, in Makati City.

He opted not to disclose yet the identity of the investors as the transaction is set to be formalized within next month and will be submitted to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for approval.

“The term sheet stipulates that it would take four weeks for these parties to enter into documentation in respect with their investment and management participation on Voyager. So once these documents are signed, we will need to file to the PCC for this particular investment to be approved,” according to Pangilinan.

PLDT will be controlling around 45 percent of Voyager once the investment is realized.

The PLDT official expects that the investment will result in significant gains on its income and finance the business operations of Voyager.

“It will reduce the quantum of losses we will book moving forward using the loss of Voyager in the first six months which is P1.3 billion. Cash flow of PLDT will be there because of fresh funds injected into Voyager,” Pangilinan further stated.

PLDT has invested around P9 billion to P10 billion for the operations of Voyager.

The core income of PLDT Inc. for the first half of the year was reported at P13 billion, which grew by 6 percent from P12.23 billion during the same period last year, excluding Voyager’s. With Voyager, the core income would be P11.7 billion — slightly lower by 1 percent.

Consolidated service revenues amounted at P72.45 billion, which was higher by 2 percent year-on-year compared to P71.23 billion driven by the growth of its broadband and digital services. –– Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

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