Davao City-based businessman Dennis Uy downplayed concerns over the rising debt level of his growing business empire caused by an acquisition binge over the past three years.
Uy said in an interview during the recent stockholders’ meeting of PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. all businesses trying to grow normally incurred debts.
“We grow by acquisitions,” Uy said.
Uy, a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, said to fund the acquisitions, his holding company would continue to borrow with an equity portion.
“We just make sure that these projects that we acquire have earnings potential to service the debts,” Uy said.
“We are also very transparent and you don’t penalize businesses for being aggressive in borrowing. You grow the business in combination of debt and equity and debt is cheap,” he said.
Udenna Corp., the soon-to-be listed holding firm of Uy, said in a consolidated financial report that interest-bearing loans amounted to P85.8 billion as of 2017, a 200-percent increase from the previous year’s level.
Among its major lenders were BDO Unibank Inc., Philippine National Bank and Bank of China.
The debts were used to fund several acquisitions and major investments made by the Davao-based businessman which enabled him to diversity his businesses from trading of refined petroleum products to logistics, shipping, real estate, casino, education, convenience store, restaurant, infrastructure and telecommunications.
Uy’s latest venture is in the telecom industry through Mislatel Consortium which will require an investment P257 billion over a five-year period to cover 84 percent of the Philippine population in five years.
Meanwhile, Uy said he was also transparent with his businesses as he planned to list Udenna through the backdoor listing via ISM Communications Corp.
Once listed, Udenna reportedly plans to conduct a share sale which market observers said would enable the group to raise funds to pay down debts and widen its public float.
Uy said the planned share sale of Udenna could happen “in a year’s time” pending the approval from the corporate regulators and depending on market conditions.
ISM is currently waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval to raise its authorized capital stock to P75 billion from the current P2.8 billion to finalize the share swap between the company and Udenna.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.