First Pacific appeals to directors' duty on offer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 12:00am

First Pacific has issued a statement imploring directors of Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) to remember their fiduciary duty as reports emerge indicating their rejection of a compromise plan.

According to reports from Manila yesterday, a compromise offer from First Pacific outlining a plan to allow JG Summit Holdings to conduct due diligence on PLDT was soundly rejected by the board of the long-distance carrier.

The offer had been mailed to individual directors on Monday and included a five-point plan. First Pacific proposed to proceed with the due diligence phase of the sale of most of its 24.5 per cent stake in PLDT to companies controlled by tycoon John Gokongwei.

In yesterday's statement, First Pacific said it expected PLDT's directors to 'exercise their fiduciary duties to act in the best interest of all shareholders'.

The firm said it 'appreciated that each PLDT director may not have had the opportunity to evaluate fully' the plan's merits, 'prior to [the] statement of rejection'.

First Pacific said it hoped they would consider the plan, 'in detail, before issuing a formal reply'.

However, PLDT continues to view the deal as a hostile bid.

An unnamed PLDT official said on Monday that the board had decided at a June 6 meeting that it would not allow parties linked to competing telecommunications carriers to engage in any due diligence.