Under Duterte's presidency, the business empire of tycoon Dennis Uy has enjoyed explosive growth through an acquisition binge, fuelling concerns over ballooning debts.
In a disclosure, Uy's Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. agreed to sell to SM Investments its 31.73% stake in 2GO Group at 8.50 pesos per share, an 11.9% discount to its closing price on Thursday.
"With the divestment, Chelsea will not be impacted by 2GO losses, which will aid the company in recovering from the current COVID-19 pandemic," said Chelsea CEO Chryss Alfonsus Damuy. Proceeds from the share sale will be used to pay down the loan obtained when Chelsea acquired 2GO in 2016.
Chelsea's divestment in 2GO, which is into shipping, courier and ferry travel service, will be completed within the next three months.
SM Investments, which acquired minority shares in 2GO in 2017, said it will also offer to buy out other shareholders. SM Investments is owned by the Sy family, ranked by Forbes as the richest in the Philippines, and it is involved in property, retail, sprawling shopping malls and banking.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)