Philweb plans to acquire Pagcor e-Game cafes

Philippines-listed Philweb Corp. is planning to acquire 15 PAGCOR e-Games Stations using a total of 7.5 million company shares as payment.

According to a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the operator noted the shares used in the transaction are part of the 354.6 million shares currently in treasury which the Company bought from PLDT in 2013.

“We continue to be bullish that we will be able to renew our license with PAGCOR at some time in the near future,” said PhilWeb President Dennis Valdes in a mobile phone message to Business World.

“We also wish to support those operators that we have worked with over the past 14 years. Some currently wish to exit the business so we are offering them an ability to exit by selling us their businesses in exchange for WEB shares,” he added.

Of the total shares, 81,380,938 shares are held by PhilWeb in treasury; 260,392,307 by PhilWeb Casino Corp.; and 12,848,522 by Pure Corporate Investments Limited.

In August last year, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) announced that it would not be renewing its contract with PhilWeb Corp. to operate its online casinos. Shares of PhilWeb plunged by as much as 41 percent at the time, the lowest since March 2009.

The e-Games cafe operator reported a net loss of P5.4 million (US$109,700) in 16Q3, down from a net profit of P206.1 million in the prior year period.

The operator saw operating revenue down more than half to P173.8 million in 16Q3, from P472.2 million in 15Q3.

Later, the company company said it was hoping to secure a new license from Pagcor through public tender, and raised P140 million (US$2.8 million) through the sale of its stake in Germany-based Acentic GmbH to weather the bidding process.