Phoenix plans asset sale, transfer to manage debts

THE board of directors of Dennis A. Uy-led Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. has given management the go signal to unload certain corporate assets for its debt management activities.

In a disclosure to the exchange on Tuesday, the company said transactions will cover the “transfer, sale, mortgage or disposition of certain corporate properties, assets, or investments” that may be relevant to the success of the company’s financial management program.

Phoenix Petroleum’s management has been authorized to enter negotiations “under reasonable and acceptable terms and conditions advantageous to the corporation” with any interested entity.

The board decision comes a day after the company told the stock exchange that the company or any of its subsidiaries “is open to consider any investor willing to invest and believes in the operations [of Phoenix Petroleum] and can further add value to its business activities.”

It said that such offers are nothing new to the company and that it had been open to investors who believe in its core business and can bring in value to its operations, finances, and to its shareholders.

“We see these as opportunities for growth,” it said.

But Phoenix Petroleum said that the dilution of its shareholdings had not been a subject of any discussion at any level in the company.

Last week, Davao-based businessman Mr. Uy sold off the entire stake of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. in 2GO Group, Inc. worth around 31.73% of shares to SM Investments Corp. at P8.50 apiece.

The transaction will make 2GO a subsidiary of SMIC, as the Sy-led company already has an existing 30.49% stake in 2GO.

Chelsea is the shipping and logistics firm of Uy-led Udenna Group. Chelsea said it would use the 2GO sale proceeds to pay for the loan it acquired to buy 2GO shares in 2017.

In January, an official of the Department of Energy (DoE) said that the agency had to cancel the “notice to proceed” issued to Mr. Uy’s $2-billion import terminal project under Tanglawan Philippine LNG, Inc.

“We were constrained to cancel their notice to proceed as, in fact, they essentially withdrew their plans as they were not able to reach financial close,” Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III said in a Senate hearing. “They are no longer pursuing their project.”

He added that the withdrawal was caused by a “commercial issue.” Tanglawan is controlled by Phoenix Petroleum.

Phoenix Petroleum shares declined by 2.38% or P0.28 on Tuesday to close at P11.50 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte