Philweb raises $2.8 million to weather bidding process

Philippines-listed Philweb Corp. has raised P 140 million (US$2.8 million) through the sale of its stake in Germany-based Acentic GmbH, according to the company’s filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

In its filing, the company stated it sold its interest in the German digital entertainment business to Niantic Holding GmbH for US$750,000. The company also received a sum of EUR 2 million from Acentic in full settlement of its loan receivables, said the firm.

The cash proceeds will be “utilized by the company to cover its overhead while it awaits the reissuance of its license from PAGCOR,” it noted.

Last week, Pagcor chairman and CEO Andrea D. Domingo in a letter to Philweb confirmed the company would need to go through a competitive bidding process in order to obtain a new license to operate its e-games cafes in the country.

In the letter addressed to PhilWeb Chairman Gregorio Ma. Araneta III, the Pagcor chief said the contract would be awarded “preferably” through public bidding.

“[M]erely renewing the IPLMA, without going through RA 9184, is no longer legally feasible. The situation when the IPLMA was originally implemented by PAGCOR (PhilWeb was essentially the lone service provider) more or less a decade ago, is no longer the same,” she said.

The company made headlines in August after news broke of the Philippine gaming regulator’s decision not to renew Philweb’s license to operate its 286 e-Games outlets.

Philweb operated internet cafes that offered casino games, including baccarat, blackjack, slot games, video poker and others, with most e-Games cafes operating on a 24/7 basis.

A “winding down” of the business started on August 10, and company CEO Dennis Valdes at the time said he was hoping to “try to avoid” cutting its 5,000 strong workforce.

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