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Dennis Uy Buys 45% Stake in ISM Communications as Share Price Doubles Since June

Davao businessman pays Php1.28 billion for equity position in a company that used to own telco assets
By Lorenzo Kyle Subido |



Listed company ISM Communications Corp. announced that it has approved the acquisition of 45 percent of its total outstanding shares by Dennison Holdings Corp., a company owned by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.


In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on August 16, ISM revealed that Dennison Holdings purchased 883.7 million shares in the company at Php1.45 per share, bringing the total transaction value to Php1.28 billion.


ISM is a holding company that holds a stake in two firms: German-based technology firm Acentic, which provides internet and in-room entertainment services to hotels and other hospitality firms; and the Philippine Bank of Communications, the country’s 20th largest bank by total assets. As well, it previously owned a stake in telco firm Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, which it sold to the San Miguel group in 2011.


The company’s association with the telco industry has led to speculation of Uy’s intent to join in the race to operate the country’s third major telco. While neither Uy nor ISM have explicitly mentioned any plans to bid for the franchise, a BusinessWorld story last May had quoted an officer from Chelsea Logistics, Uy’s listed shipping firm, in saying that the company was in talks with both local and foreign players to acquire a stake in the third telco player.



But ISM recently made the news due to its stock price, which closed at Php3.19 last August 16, an increase of 126 percent from the start of the year. While ISM’s stock price remained relatively flat for the first five months of 2018, it began increasing in June, with the price more than doubling from Php1.35 to Php3.30 throughout the month. (See infographic)


In the same month, the company announced its plans to sell over 1.7 billion shares to raise funds for its future projects. By then, ISM already announced the intention of Uy to participate in its share sale.


Uy’s investment in ISM adds to his aggressive buying spree of companies across a variety of industries. Among Uy’s recent additions to his business portfolio are the local franchise of convenience store chain FamilyMart, education firm Enderun Colleges and real estate developer Global Gateway Development.


Uy is also betting big on the gaming industry, as his Udenna Corp. is building an integrated resort and casino in Mactan, Cebu. Called the Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan, the project is estimated to cost $341 million.



Related story: From Gas Stations to Shipping to Casino Resorts: The Unstoppable Rise of Dennis Uy






Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer of Entrepreneur PH

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