MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Roberto Ongpin has appointed KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. (KPMG RGM & Co.) as investment advisor to supervise the sale of his entire holdings in PhilWeb Corp.
In a letter to PhilWeb directors and employees, Ongpin said he has chosen KPMG RGM & Co. as the firm can readily provide information to potential buyers of his shares, being the current auditor of PhilWeb.
“I would appreciate it if PhilWeb would cooperate with KPMG in providing whatever information is required for this mandate. The fees payable to KPMG for this transaction will of course be for my personal account,” Ongpin added.
Ongpin earlier decided to divest his 771.6 million shares (about 53.76 percent) in PhilWeb in another attempt to save the gaming technology company from permanent closure.
The company’s license as a service provider of the e-games network or internet cafes regulated by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), expired on Aug. 10 and has not been renewed despite several attempts.
“After having resigned as chairman of PhilWeb, and after having made several offers to Pagcor, all of which have been either rejected or ignored, it has become obvious to me that, while I remain a shareholder of PhilWeb, there is no chance that PhilWeb will be allowed any favorable reception on any proposal to Pagcor,” Ongpin said.
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“In an effort to save the company, its employees and the some 5,000 employees of the e-games operators, I have come to the decision to divest of my entire holdings,” he added.
Ongpin said he intends to donate P1 billion from the proceeds of his divestment to the government’s drug rehabilitation program.
PhilWeb is behind e-games Stations, which are internet cafés exclusively dedicated to casino games.
There were 268 operating e-games cafés across the country, a majority of which were owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs.