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Sy-Coson isn’t majority owner of 2GO


Businesswoman Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chair of the giant conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), is not the majority owner of transport and logistics provider 2GO Group, contrary to a blogger’s claim.


2GO’s biggest stockholders are corporations: KGLI-NM Holdings Inc. controlled by Davao businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and SMIC. Neither of these companies holds a majority stake or more than 50 percent of 2GO’s total shares.


Blogger and radio host Mark Lopez made the erroneous claim about Sy-Coson in an April 22 post in which he blasted Inquirer.net for purportedly highlighting the 46-year-old Uy in its report on the P35 million rental government would be paying 2GO for two months for the use of its two passenger vessels to quarantine COVID-19 suspects.


Lopez said:

Another FAKE NEWS by INQUIRER. DENNIS UY IS NOT THE MAJORITY OWNER of 2GO Shipping. TESSIE SY COSON of SM is the MAJORITY OWNER of 2GO, not Mr Uy. Why is Dennis Uy highlighted here in the news that DOTR paid on 2 Go? Of course, because the Inquirer wants to make the yellow yellows and release that Dennis Uy has a sweetheart deal with DOTR, because he is a campaign funder of PRRD. That's why even if it's wrong, it will insist.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade disclosed the details of the arrangement with 2GO in the government’s April 22 virtual presser on COVID-19. He said the two vessels have a combined 1,600 beds but only 535 will be used due to social distancing.


Shortly after news of the rental came out, Uy issued a statement that 2GO was waiving the fee and clarified that the actual cost of operating the vessels was P260 million.


He also said he is neither the sole owner nor the majority shareholder of 2GO.


2GO Group in its April 2020 Definitive Information Statement identified its top three common stockholders as of Dec. 31, 2019 as KGLI-NM Holdings Inc. with 867,239,109 or 35.22 percent of its shares; SM Investments Corp., 750,754,812 or 30.49 percent, and the Dutch-based China-ASEAN Marine B.V. with 550,558,388 or 22.36 percent. Sy-Coson and Uy are not on the list.


2GO’s annual report said KGLI-NM’s “ultimate parent” is Uy’s Udenna Corp.


Disclosures by 2GO and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (CLIHC), a subsidiary of Udenna Corp., state that CLIHC acquired in May 2017 80 percent economic interest and 39.97 percent of the voting rights in KGLI-NM Holdings.


CLIHC said this gave it a 28.15 percent indirect economic interest in 2GO. The holdings group is named after Uy’s eldest daughter Chelsea, 17.


SMIC bought into 2GO in March 2017 by acquiring shares from China-ASEAN Marine B.V., an equity fund launched by the China Export-Import Bank.


Since 2017 2GO has been led by Uy who chairs the nine-member board. 2GO directors also include Frederic C. DyBuncio, lawyer Elmer B. Serrano, Laurito E. Serrano, Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy and Ma. Concepcion F. de Claro.


Damuy, a director of CLIHC, is president and CEO of CLIHC. Claro is a director Udenna Corp. and other Uy companies; she is a treasurer or chief financial officer in some of these firms.


DyBuncio is 2GO’s president and chief executive officer and holds the same position at SMIC owned by the Sy family. Elmer Serrano is SMIC corporate secretary. Laurito Serrano is also a director of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., where SMIC has equity investment and where DyBuncio is vice chairman.


Sy-Coson and her siblings hold shares in SMIC ranging from 5.9 to 8.2 percent. Her brothers Herbert and Hans each have 8.2 percent. Eldest brother Henry, who has slightly more shares than Sy-Coson, is also vice chair of SMIC.


A scan of news accounts of Tugade’s April 22 announcement shows that like Inquiret.net, a number of newsrooms described 2GO as led or owned by Uy in the headline or body of their story.


Inquirer.net reported that the Davao businessman is “known for his close ties with President Rodrigo Duterte” but made no explicit reference to a “sweetheart deal,” a phrase found in Lopez’s post.


In his post, Lopez identified Uy as Duterte’s “campaign funder.”


The Davao businessman contributed P30 million to the president’s 2016 campaign.


Lopez’s post has gathered 2,100 likes, 538 comments and 739 shares. Data from the social media monitoring tool Crowdtangle show that 14 pro-Duterte Facebook pages and public groups were among those that shared his post, including Mocha Uson Blog which has nearly 5.8 million likes.


References


2GO Group. (2018, April 6). Mergers and consolidations. Retrieved from https://edge.pse.com.ph/openDiscViewer.do?edge_no=e42db9b85064441643ca035510b6ec2b


2GO Group. (2019). 2018 annual report. Retrieved from https://edge.pse.com.ph/openDiscViewer.do?edge_no=a9253072e4191d11efdfc15ec263a54d


2GO Group. (2020, April 1). Definitive information statement. Retrieved from https://edge.pse.com.ph/openDiscViewer.do?edge_no=a85db21250f053330de8473cebbd6407


Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (2019). 2018 annual report. Retrieved from https://edge.pse.com.ph/openDiscViewer.do?edge_no=83044149a6dc841defdfc15ec263a54d


Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (2020). Definitive information statement. Retrieved from https://edge.pse.com.ph/openDiscViewer.do?edge_no=10a319650befab1c0de8473cebbd6407


CNN Philippines. (2020, April 22). The Department of Transportation will pay ₱35 million to the Dennis Uy-owned shipping company 2GO Group Inc. for its rent of two passenger ships that will be used as COVID-19 quarantine facilities [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/CNNPhilippines/posts/2802021693371045


DOTr pays Dennis Uy’s 2GO for using passenger vessels as floating quarantine facilities —Tugade. (2020, April 22). GMA News. Retrieved from https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/735108/dotr-pays-dennis-uy-s-2GO-for-using-passenger-vessels-as-floating-quarantine-facilities-tugade/story/


Esguerra, D. (2020, April 22). 2GO Group at least P35M for use of ‘floating hospitals.’ Inquirer.net. Retrieved from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1262902/govt-paying-dennis-uys-2GO-group-at-least-p35m-for-use-of-floating-hospitals


Esmael, L. (2020, April 23). Govt pays P35M for renting 2GO ships. Manila Times. Retrieved from https://www.manilatimes.net/2020/04/23/business/govt-pays-p35m-for-renting-2GO-ships/717581/


Gov’t pays Uy’s 2GO P35M for quarantine vessels. (2020, April 23). BusinessWorld. Retrieved from https://www.bworldonline.com/govt-pays-uys-2GO-p35m-for-quarantine-vessels/


Ilagan, K., & Mangahas, M. (2016, December 5). P334M from only 13 donors funded Duterte's presidency. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20190124195215/http://pcij.org:80/stories/p334m-from-only-13-donors-funded-dutertes-presidency/


Mark Lopez. (2020, April 22). Another FAKE NEWS by INQUIRER. DENNIS UY IS NOT THE MAJORITY OWNER of 2GO Shipping. TESSIE SY COSON of SM is the MAJORITY OWNER of 2GO, not Mr Uy… [Facebook status update]. Retrieved https://www.facebook.com/maclopez0769/timeline?lst=1400872515%3A100006500253349%3A1587613031


Merez, A. (2020, April 22). Gov't rents 2 of Dennis Uy's ships as quarantine facilities. ABS-CBN News. Retrieved from https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/04/22/20/govt-rents-2-of-dennis-uys-ships-as-quarantine-facilities


Mocha Uson Blog. (2020, April 22). Para sa mga maduduming isip. Basa! [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Mochablogger/posts/10158558189621522


Philippine Competition Commission. (2018). Full case report on Commission Decision No. 022-M-039/2018: Proposed acquisition of Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation of shares in KGLI-NM Holdings, Inc. Retrieved from https://phcc.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/PCC-Case-No.-M-2018-002_Full-Case-Report-on-Commission-Decision-No.-022-M-39-2018_dated3July2018.pdf


Public Briefing #LagingHandaPH. (2020, April 22). Retrieved from https://pcoo.gov.ph/press-briefing/public-briefing-laging-handa-ph-hosted-by-presidential-communications-operations-office-secretary-martin-andanar-and-pcoo-usec-rocky-ignacio-2/


Ranada, P. (2020, April 22). Gov't paying Dennis Uy's 2GO P35 million for quarantine ships. Rappler. Retrieved from https://www.rappler.com/nation/258701-government-paying-dennis-uy-2GO-for-coronavirus-quarantine-ships


READ: Statement of 2GO Group chairman Dennis Uy waiving the expected P35 million payment from the government for the use of its two vessels as COVID-19 floating quarantine ships. (2020, April 22). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1252976231403778050


SM Investments Corp. (2020). Definitive information statement. Retrieved from https://edge.pse.com.ph/openDiscViewer.do?edge_no=22c259ae3dc2aa0d0de8473cebbd6407

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