September 21, 2017, 8:08 pm
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PLDT to acquire small IT firm

The investment arm of PLDT Inc. plans to acquire an internet-related company by next year. 

PLDT Capital was formed in 2015 as an investment arm of PLDT to support its digital pivot through collaboration with world-class pioneering companies in Silicon Valley, USA and around the world.

 PLDT initially earmarked $50 million as investmentto acquire IT companies from other countries in 2015 and 2016.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT president and chairman, told reporters the company is keen to acquire some small IT firms by next year.

“Yeah, most likely there’ll be some (acquisition for next year). Some interesting opportunities,” Pangilinan said. 

But for this year, the company has no plans to pursue an acquisition as it recently sold its stake in business process outsourcing company SPI Global and its remaining shares in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to pay debts and help finance the P46-billion capital expenditure (capex) budgeted for this year.

“Nothing needs much to be done (this year) because we sold Meralco shares and SPI. So we have enough gains and cash coming from those two transactions to reduce debts and help out in the capex. So maybe next year, we’ll have to revisit the portfolio,” Pangilinan said.

In 2015, PLDT Capital invested in technology firm Phunware Inc., Appcard Inc. and Iflix Inc. 

PLDT invested $15 million in iflix, adding to the pool of funds that is enabling iflix to acquire rights to new content, produce original programming and offer them to customers in Southeast Asia.

Last year, the company also invested $5 million in California-based Matrixx Software, which provides real-time integrated infrastructure for digital service providers. 

 PLDT reported P4.95 billion in net income for the first quarter of the year, down 20 percent from P6.21 billion in profits for the same period last year, due to lower revenues from its mobile phone business. 

Consolidated revenues fell by seven percentto P35.2 billion in the first three months of 2017, from P38 billion in the comparable period last year, of which revenues from the fixed-line business, PLDT Home and Enterprise, amounted to P16.26 billion, much higher than the P14.75 billionwireless revenues.
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