GLOBE TELECOM OKAYS BUYBACK OF DeTeAsia STAKE IN P8.16-B DEAL

MANILA, OCTOBER 17, 2003  (STAR) By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes  - Globe Telecom Inc. approved yesterday to buy back the 12 million shares of DeTeAsia Holding GmbH (DeTeAsia) in a deal valued at P8.16 billion.

DeTeAsia announced earlier it had struck a deal to sell its 24.8 percent holding of common Globe shares to controlling shareholders Ayala Corp. and Singapore Telecom International (STI) at P680 a share.

Ayala, STI, and DeTeAsia are the three biggest shareholders of Globe.

STI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) while DeTeAsia is owned by German phone giant Deutsche Telekom AG (DT).

The German giant, Europe’s biggest telecom operator, has now sold all its Asian mobile holdings, having also disposed of its stakes in Malaysia’s Celcom Malaysia and PT Satelit Palapa Indonesia (Satelindo) for around $440 million.

Once the Globe Telecom transaction is completed, Deutsche Telekom will be represented in the region solely by its business services subsidiary T-Systems, which has branches in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines.

Globe Telecom president and chief executive officer Gerardo Ablaza Jr. said they "are pleased to have addressed a number of important issues in this transaction and at the same time resolving the uncertainty that existed with DT’s departure."

The Globe board has authorized the special committee to decide on the company’s participation in the sale of the DT stake.

Citigroup Global Markets has been engaged as the financial advisor to the committee. Globe’s participation in the transaction is subject to approval by the special committee as well as documentation and closing.

DeTeAsia sold its shares in Globe after its parent company Deutsche continued to suffer massive losses in its worldwide operations. It offered the shares to partners Ayala and STI in pursuance of the right of first offer available to the two companies.

DeTeAsia used to own part of Isla Communications (Islacom). When Globe bought Islacom, DeTeAsia received shares in Globe under a share-swap agreement.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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