What does Primex have in store for the public?

Emeterio Sd. Perez

THE public stockholders of Primex Corp. may find it hard to find the company’s corporate stockholders because these are all attributed individually to the members of the Ang family.

To solve the dilemma, Due Diligencer is adopting the format of the public ownership reports (POR) of other listed companies. In these filings, corporate stockholders are identified either as principal or substantial stockholders, who are mostly the controlling or majority owners.

Primex does not do this kind of posting on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange. Instead, it recognized the five Angs as stockholders, who either directly or indirectly hold PRMX shares.

In an ownership disclosure, Primex listed three direct stockholders namely Ernesto O. Ang, 2.325 million common shares or 0.140 percent; Eduardo O. Ang, 62.5 million PRMX common shares or 3.761 percent; and Ericson O. Ang, 5.383 million.

The “missing” stockholders are the five companies in which each of the five Angs said in a filing lodged their PRMX common shares. Ernesto has his 376.623 million PRMX common shares or 22.665 percent held by High Value Holdings Inc.; Eduardo’s 137.778 million PRMX common shares in EA Hok Ki Holdings Corp.; Emilio O. Ang’s 159.895 million PRMX common shares in High Integritas Holdings Inc.; Edgard’s 193.235 million PRMX common shares or 11.628 percent in Excellar Holdings Inc.; and Ericson O. Ang’s 193.235 million common shares or 11.628 percent in 5 Calibre Holdings Inc.

Primex explained in the same ownership filing that “as of April 30, 2018, the total number of common shares owned by all directors and officers as a group unnamed is 1,138,149,995 which is equivalent to 68.49 percent of the total outstanding number of common shares of the registrant.”

Public stockholders

As a listed company, Primex claimed to be public because its public stockholders owned 515.577 million common shares or 31.028 percent as of April 16, 2018, according to the company’s POR.

Primex said it listed 1.662 billion outstanding common shares of which it classified 1.146 billion common shares or 68.953 percent as “non-public” and defined 515.577 million
common shares or 31.028 percent as “public ownership percentage.”

All these add up to 1.662 billion common shares which is the number of outstanding PRMX common shares posted on PSE website.

While attributing to the public an ownership of 515.577 million common shares or 31.028 percent, Primex failed to allow at least one of the public stockholders to become a member of the nine-person board.

As a family-owned listed company, Primex’s nine-person board is dominated by the five Angs and two independent directors appointed by them.

However, Primex has other option for the public stockholders and that is to give them their share of the company’s retained earnings of P453.814 million as of March 31, 2018.

Will this entitle them to 31.028 percent which would amount to P140.809 million?

But the Angs should do their own computation. Who knows they may have other formulas to apply and follow.

Due Diligencer’s take

The question raised by Joey Brillantes whom I met so many years ago is what could be happening to Primex as a listed stock. If the company is debt-free, how come its stock price has not moved much?

If Joey is reading this piece, my hunch could be as good as his. As a matter of fact, he might even have a better grasp of the market than I do because I report only what I read from disclosures. However, I am not a market analyst that recommends which stocks to buy and sell.

Here are the posers that Joey may want to ask about his analysts: Who are trading on Primex common shares? Are they insiders or executives who are mostly members of the Ang family?

Of course, no one would say if the Angs are engaged in trading their own stocks since they and their companies own most of Primex common shares. Like other listed companies, it can’t be true that the company’s public stockholders own 515.577 million PRMX common shares. If they do, they would have controlled 31.028 percent of the company’s nine-person board which would mean electing two or three directors.

Unluckily for the public, they don’t. Instead, they are only credited with so much number of common shares that they can’t use in voting one of their own. Will two or three outsiders be significant to get a glimpse of the board? Just asking.


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