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The Board of Directors of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (“PLDT”) (PSE: TEL) (NYSE: PHI) approved today the creation of a new class of redeemable preferred shares with full voting rights which may only be subscribed and owned by Philippine nationals (the “Voting Preferred Shares”). When the Voting Preferred Shares are issued, the resulting capital structure of PLDT will be aligned with, and identical to, the current capital structure of many listed Philippine companies engaged in businesses such as the operation of public utilities, mining, and land development.
PLDT maintains that its current share structure fully complies with the Constitution. Although the Supreme Court decision in Gamboa vs. Teves, et al is not final and still subject to reconsideration, the Supreme Court’s ruling, until reversed, could disrupt PLDT’s operations and transactions. To safeguard the interests of its consumers, shareholders, holders of its securities and lenders, the Board of Directors of PLDT approved amendments to the Amended Articles of Incorporation of PLDT (the “Articles”) that will authorize the Board of Directors of PLDT to issue the Voting Preferred Shares as and when the Board determines such issuance to be necessary to protect the interests of PLDT and its stakeholders. The issuance of the Voting Preferred Shares will result in an expanded voting capital in PLDT consisting of Common Shares and Voting Preferred Shares.
The foregoing amendments to the Articles will be subject to approval by the stockholders of PLDT owning two-thirds of the total outstanding shares. After the approval of the amendments by the PLDT shareholders, up to 150,000,000 Voting Preferred Shares could be initially issued by the Board of Directors of PLDT to the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT and other Philippine nationals. When issued, the 150,000,000 Voting Preferred Shares will be about 45% of the expanded voting shares of PLDT and the total foreign equity in PLDT’s expanded voting shares will be reduced from the current 64% to about 36%.
PLDT’s Chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan, said, “PLDT believes that its current share structure is in full compliance with the Constitution, all applicable laws and regulations and various opinions of the Securities and Exchange Commission and it is prepared to exercise all its legal options in relation to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Gamboa case. In the meantime, PLDT wants to assure all its stakeholders, particularly its customers, that it will be business as usual for PLDT.
We assure our shareholders and the general public that they will continue to reap the benefits from PLDT’s continued services.”
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