Friday, January 16, 2009

PLDT Owns Philcom Corporation


PLDT expands in South with Philcom

Written by Lenie Lectura / Reporter

Wednesday, 07 January 2009 22:44

PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) now owns Philcom Corp., a local exchange carrier with operations in southern Philippines.

First, PLDT had to buy all of Philcom Corp.’s liabilities from PremierGlobal Resources Corp. (PGRC) for P340 million. PGR is a separate company that held all of Philcom Corp.’s debts.

A debt-assignment agreement was signed on Friday last week between PLDT and PGRC, in which the latter sold to the phone giant the outstanding obligations owed by Philcom Corp. to suppliers, banks and other financial institutions.

To complete the transaction in owning 100-percent of Philcom Corp., PLDT had to ink a share-assignment agreement with Philcom Corp.’s parent firm Philippine Global Communications Inc. (PGCI).

Under the deal signed on January 3, PGCI agreed to sell, transfer and convey in favor of PLDT its rights, title and interest in and to all of its shares of common stock in Philcom Corp. for P75 million.

“The result of the two transactions ends up [with] PLDT owning 100 percent of Philcom Corp.,” said PLDT spokesperson Mon Isberto in an interview.

The acquisition will allow the PLDT group to broaden its presence in Mindanao, where it already has operations carried out under PLDT-Maratel Inc. and Smart Broadband Inc. “This expanded presence is expected to benefit not only the existing subscribers in the area, but provides the communities in the area an opportunity to access improved telecommunications facilities,” said PLDT.

The parties would still have to seek approvals of the transaction from the National Telecommunications Commission.

Since January 2004, PLDT has been managing the fixed-line facilities of Philcom Corp., pursuant to an advisory and management-services agreement with PGCI to help improve the operations of the company.

PLDT has been in discussions with the shareholders and creditors of Philcom Corp. to restructure its debts and improve its financial condition since 2007. Philcom Corp. owed PLDT approximately P2.2 billion since December 31, 2001.

Philcom operates in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Basilan, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Misamis Oriental, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. It also has 16 local exchanges in Mindanao, including Cagayan de Oro, Panabo and Butuan City.

Among its other services, Philcom also offers Voice Connect Direct Access, which is dedicated to private telephone lines, a service that provides connection for large volume of domestic and international long-distance traffic; and Internet access, providing customers with the required bandwidth to connect to the Internet utilizing any form of last-mile facility from domestic private line to wireless connection.

Philcom has 26 interconnection agreements and more than 16 overseas correspondent relationships. They include PLDT, Globe Telecom Inc., Smart Communications Inc., Bayan Telecommunications Inc., Eastern Telecommunication Philippines Inc., Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc., Bell Telecoms, Next Mobile and Express Telecom. Philcom also has tie-ups with Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.