In the Philippines, online games developer PhilWeb Corporation has reportedly announced that it intends to “reapply” for licenses to operate its network of e-Games parlors.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the move follows last month’s exit of former controlling shareholder Roberto Ongpin amid a massive ongoing divestiture and his subsequent replacement as Chairman by Gregorio Ma Araneta III.
It was not a good summer for PhilWeb Corporation after the operator was informed on August 8 that the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation regulator would not be renewing its licenses to run a network of domestic gaming parlors offering Internet-delivered games. The firm had earlier been criticized by incoming President Rodrigo Duterte after the controversial politician singled out Ongpin, who is a former trade minister, as one of the country’s “monster” oligarchs.
Duterte had also accused Ongpin of currying favor with previous presidents and using his influence to boost his businesses while PhilWeb Corporation was consequently forced to close its full network of 286 e-Games outlets.
However, a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange released on Wednesday revealed that Ongpin was selling his full 53.76% stake in PhilWeb Corporation to real estate and, more recently, renewable energy firm Gregorio Araneta Incorporated for almost $41.6 million.
“After the divestment by the Ongpin group of companies of its stake in PhilWeb Corporation is concluded today and after his resignation from PhilWeb Corporation in early-August, [Roberto] Ongpin will have no further involvement with PhilWeb,” read the filing. “Gregorio Ma. Araneta III, Chief Executive Officer for Gregorio Araneta Incorporated, has been elected as Chairman and Dennis Valdes will remain as President. With the divestment of [Roberto] Ongpin, the new management of PhilWeb Corporation will now reapply for the continuation of its licence with [the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation] for its nationwide network of e-Games cafes.”
The filing moreover explained that the share transfer would take place in two tranches with the bulk via an initial block sale followed by a balance of 118,500,000 after the firm succeeded in listing the first batch with the Philippine Stock Exchange.