Three’s a crowd, four is competition

Three’s a crowd, four is competition

Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 02:10:00 09/23/2009

Kapitan never sells. Ever.

IT’S LONG BEEN rumored that tycoon Lucio Tan is considering selling flag carrier Philippine Airlines because of the losses it incurred from costly fuel hedges contracted when global oil prices were at record levels. In fact, San Miguel president Ramon Ang is rumored to be a potential buyer.

But the rumors turned out to be false.

PAL president Jaime Bautista told reporters in a recent interview that the “Kapitan” doesn’t even know how to sell, when it comes to his prized assets (read: Why would the country’s second richest man need or even want to sell what he considers to be valuable?).

But Bautista says PAL is not closing its doors to getting a potential foreign strategic partner. Long ago, there were reports that PAL may sell a minority stake to foreign investors.

Bautista said that, in the past, there were talks with the likes of Cathay Pacific and Singapore Air. But all that talk turned out to be nothing but hot air. Doris C. Dumlao

PNB, Security Bank surge

OVER THE LAST few weeks, shares of PNB and Security Bank had attracted interest in the stock market, driven by separate merger and acquisition (M&A) stories.

PNB, for its part, is said to be benefiting from expectations that the merger with Allied Bank may finally happen soon.

Allied is said to be close to selling its stake in San Francisco-based Oceanic Bank—a prerequisite laid out by US banking regulators before clearing the merger.

Some traders said PNB had been trading at a huge discount to book value for two reasons: the sibling rivalry between Lucio Tan and Mariano Tanenglian; and the merger of PNB and Allied Bank which appears to be taking a thousand years to settle.

But now, investors are taking a second look at the stock given its much improved fundamentals.
Security Bank is believed to be the only local player (although there may be some foreign competition) now left in the running for PBCom, where a controlling stake is on the block.
Financial Adviser Macquarie is mandated to complete the PBcom sale before year’s end. Doris C. Dumlao

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