Feb 032014

Retired business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. or ECJ is recovering very well from the kidney transplant he underwent, with the procedure performed locally at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City early in December last year. The 78-year-old businessman told us he gained a few pounds but he says he hopes to lose it just as quickly.

ECJ has been advised by his doctors to keep himself in isolation for the next six months to avoid getting infected by people with coughs or colds. He has been receiving a steady stream of visitors, mostly close personal friends and relatives who regularly drop by and chat with him through an enclosed glass living room.  Visitors are received in the dining area with a glass divider through which they can see ECJ and talk to him through a microphone.

The San Miguel chairman keeps himself busy watching DVDs, getting updated with current events through news reports on television and going over some papers – exactly what a retired business tycoon does. ECJ has left everything including major decisions to his lieutenant (Ramon Ang) who runs San Miguel Corporation and all the other businesses under the SMC Group.

Once he is fully recovered, the founder of the Nationalist People’s Coalition party plans to travel around the country to see how and where he can help fellow Filipinos improve their lives. He told us he will also continue providing scholarships to students through the Eduardo Cojuangco Foundation, with scholars provided with free tuition, stipends, book allowances and job placements after graduation. Scholarship grants are also given to teachers pursuing a master’s degree – in line with the belief of ECJ that it is equally important to educate the educator if we want to uplift educational standards in this country.

Of course, his passion for basketball continues, having been given a very encouraging boost with the La Salle Green Archers winning the UAAP Season 76 championship last year. While it’s likely that he won’t be able to watch the basketball team play when the UAAP Season 77 opens, his commitment to support the Green Archers will continue to be as passionate as ever.

ECJ in isolation exudes a very hopeful and positive aura, saying he is just “grateful for the blessing of life.”

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TV5 scores big with Super Bowl

Filipinos were able to witness the opening of the biggest and most watched sporting event in the United States with over 100 million viewers – the Super Bowl – thanks to TV5 that brought the event live on television in tandem with PLDT Home Fibr that streamed it to subscribers. Filipino viewers waited for the halftime show which featured 28-year-old Puerto Rican-Filipino-American pop singing sensation Bruno Mars (Peter Gene Hernandez) who rocked the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey with a number of hit songs like “Just the Way You Are” and “Runaway.”

More than 80,000 fans jumped and danced with Mars and alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers – a fantastic spectacle with a giant shower of fireworks illuminating the stadium. Mars (whose Filipina mother passed away in June last year) will be in Manila to perform at the Mall of Asia Arena on March 22. We’re told the Red Hot Chili Peppers will also be here for another show.

Manny Pangilinan (MVP) certainly scored big with this “coup,” signaling the network’s aggressive moves when it comes to content and offerings, with plans to bring in the Sochi Winter Olympics as well as other sports events.  According to sources, MVP is set to “revolutionize” the way people watch television with PLDT Home’s Tvolution, a small black box that can stream movies and TV shows, music and other entertainment content direct from the Internet. Technology is certainly going to be the big game changer, and the MVP group definitely intends to be at par with the changing times to suit the ever-evolving preferences of Filipino viewers.

A lot of people told us they can’t really understand the reason behind GMA’s stalling as far as the deal with the MVP group is concerned. The way many see it, it’s a no brainer for the Kapuso network to partner with the TV5/Kapatid network considering the latter’s vast communications and technology resources – which could make the scope and reach wider and broader for both networks.

Spy tidbit

Our tocayo Major Homes chairman Mario “Babes” Oreta updated us about the progress of Juez Residences, the first master planned vertical village located in Maysilo in Malabon composed of seven medium rise residential buildings with lush gardens and well-appointed amenities.  Major Homes recently had a top-off ceremony for building one, with the milestone event led by Babes (fourth from left). Joining him were VP for sales Jesusa Arceo, president Quinto Oreta, VP for sales Rose Anne Rovillos and sales directors Francis Cruz and Mico Bagui.

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Email: spybits08@yahoo.com

Nov 182013
MVP Group: Model for CSR

Millions of Filipinos have been left homeless by Typhoon Yolanda, while the cost of the damage has been initially placed at more than P10 billion – and it’s obvious that rehabilitation will require massive resources and gargantuan efforts. The death toll continues to rise even as we write, but it’s quite clear to everyone that the focus should be on helping the survivors who are in need of food, water, medicines, clothes and shelter. Despite the devastation, Filipinos are heartened by the compassion and support coming from many local companies who are all stepping up to the plate, initiating their own fund drives, forsaking planned Christmas celebrations, and conducting relief operations. Major businesses are displaying corporate social responsibility (CSR) through corporate foundations, among them the Aboitiz group which initially raised P30 million. Aboitiz Equity Ventures president Jon Aboitiz told me they have a target of raising P200 million and that they are now “close to it,” realizing that there is much to be done but that we will be able to do it as a nation. Another conglomerate that has also been in the thick of relief efforts is the SM Group that has allocated P100 million in calamity funds for the rebuilding of homes, community centers and schools in disaster affected areas most particularly in Tacloban, Samar, Ormoc, Capiz, Iloilo, Cebu and Bohol that also suffered from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The SM Group via SM Cares is doing a fantastic job, having sent over 50,000 relief packs and Read More …

Jul 312013
MVP picks Tesla sedan to promote e-vehicle use

First e-vehicle charging station in PHL:  Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo (second from left) joins (from left) Meralco president and CEO Oscar S. Reyes, Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, and Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla during the launch of the first prototype electric vehicle (EV) charging station in the Philippines. The DTI is supportive of efforts to accelerate the development of the nascent electric vehicle (EV) industry in the country. This pioneering development in the EV industry is intended to provide a signal to EV stakeholders that Meralco is preparing itself to support the industry’s requirements. MANILA, Philippines – Business magnate Manuel V. Pangilinan has purchased a P9-million Tesla model S electric vehicle (EV), the first luxury sedan of its kind in the country, ending speculations he would be buying a Rolls Royce. The Model S is one of many models manufactured by Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley-based car premium EV maker. “This is more affordable than a Rolls Royce,” Pangilinan said in jest. More than the monetary value, Pangilinan said his acquisition of an EV is part of Manila Electric Co’s efforts to promote the use of more environment-friendly EVs in the country. Meralco, the country’s biggest power distributor which Pangilinan chairs, is willing to help in manufacturing EVs, he said at the launch of Meralco’s first commercial prototype EV charging station Tuesday night. “We in Meralco will help propagate local manufacturing here. We’re prepared to invest and help set up financing. We Read More …

Jul 252013

MANILA, July 23, 2013 (AFP) – Fans of LeBron James in the basketball-crazy Philippines were in raptures Tuesday after queuing in sun and rain for up to three days to see their hoop god in the flesh. The Miami Heat star was greeted with indoor fireworks and chants of “MVP” (most valuable player) as he […]

Jul 222013
MVP sets 51% limit on Meralco stake

MANILA, Philippines – Publicly-listed Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), the flagship firm of the business empire headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan, is set to limit its interest in utility giant Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). Pangilinan, who serves as chairman of both MPIC and Meralco, told reporters in a chance interview that the holding firm intends to limit its stake in the electricity distributor within the  tender offer requirement. “We want to keep Meralco a listed company so we would prefer not to breach the limits on the requirement for a general offer,” Pangilinan said. Under the Securities Regulation Code, any entity that acquires more than 51 percent of a listed company must offer to buy the remaining shares held by minority investors for the same price. This law aims to protect investors by allowing them to divest from a company when there is a significant change of ownership that may affect the way it operates. When asked if MPIC would acquire 51 percent of Meralco, he said the holding firm does not want to exceed the limit on the tender offer rule. “Something like that,” he added. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 MPIC is the single largest shareholder in Meralco with a 48.3 percent interest through wholly owned subsidiary Beacon Electric Asset Holdings Inc. Last July 19, MPIC took up about 15 percent to 16 percent of the 64.3 million Meralco shares worth over P17 billion sold by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC). San Miguel Read More …

Jun 142013
MVP not keen on SMC’s Meralco shares

MANILA, Philippines – The group of Manuel V. Pangilinan is comfortable with its shareholding in the country’s largest power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and is not likely to buy out San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) assets in the firm. “We are comfortable with our current shareholding in Meralco  and we would be prepared to assist should San Miguel decide to dispose assets in Meralco,” Pangilinan told reporters following the stockholders meeting of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) yesterday. “There has been no final decision to what extent we may or may not participate, but if we do, we may consider participating in a modest way,” he said further. He said that should the group decide to acquire more Meralco shares, it would not be to the point where their total stake would go over 51 percent. “(We will participate but) not to the point it will trigger tender offer obligation,” he said. A mandatory tender offer is triggered when an investor accumulates more than 51 percent stake in a public company. Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 The acquiring company should then offer to buy all shares held by minority shareholders. SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said earlier that the diversifying conglomerate is willing to sell its stake in Meralco. SMC owns around 36 percent of Meralco, making it one of the top shareholders in the company. Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp., controls nearly Read More …