Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said that the company’s investment with Rocket Internet SE was disappointing, but it would still continue its stake with the German e-commerce company.
PLDT invested with Rocket Internet in 2014. The company bought 10 percent stake of then-tech startup Rocket Internet, with the total amount of € 333 million euro (P17 billion).
“[Rocket Internet Chief Executive Officer Oliver Samwer] has gotten the message that certain shareholders are not too happy with the share price and performance of the company,” Business World Online reported Pangilinan as saying. He added that it would be fair to give Samwer time.
The share price of Rocket Internet has since declined after shareholders began to question the value of its portfolio companies.
Rocket Internet paid P1.6 billion in impairment losses, and this dragged down PLDT’s net profit. PLDT’s net profit dropped by 33.68 percent, leaving them with only P6.23 billion in the first quarter from P9.4 billion.
Still, Pangilinan said PLDT has no plans of unloading their stake with the Berlin-based tech company.
“I think we should hold on to it,” Pangilinan said.
In May, credit rating firm Moody’s Corporation issued a credit opinion on PLDT, citing that the company’s heavy investments in network and digital business will weigh on cash flow.
“The stable outlook reflects our expectation that PLDT will maintain its solid margins and liquidity profile, given its dominant market position,” Moody’s said.
Moody’s Corporation also added that PLDT is facing challenges that could lead to a possible downgrade. Included in these challenges are weak free cash flow, events risks associated with investments in core and non-core businesses, intense domestic competition and decline in high-margin toll revenues, and adjusted leverage expected to remain around 2.5x in 2016.
PLDT’s credit strengths include a healthy liquidity profile as well as its dominant market position in the duopolistic telecommunications market of the country.