Phoenix Petroleum Philippines of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy has clarified that the company is not for sale, though investors are welcome to boost capital for further expansion.
In a report by The Philippine Star, Phoenix Vice President for External Affairs Raymond Zorilla denied that the country’s third-largest oil firm for sale for Php37 billion.
On Monday morning, Uy was reported by to be “open” to selling either a minority or controlling stake in the petroleum company he founded in 2002 amid rising revenues and debts stemming from aggressive expansion in the last few years.
Later that day, Phoenix issued a clarification in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“The company clarifies that the statement of Mr. Uy was in answer to the question pertaining to his willingness or openness to sell any of his businesses in the group to which he answered that the company has always been open to investors willing to invest in the company and who believes in the company’s business and can add value to its operations, finances and value of it stocks,” the disclosure read.
Before the end of 2020, Phoenix went on a Php4.25 billion refinancing program to strengthen its balance sheet amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the program’s capital light expansion strategy, the company focused on strategic partnerships and an integrated franchising model across its fuel and liquefied petroleum gas products, convenience stores, and payments.
Prior to the refinancing, the company posted a Php95 million net loss from January to September, also due to the pandemic.
Phoenix, which edged out Chevron to become part of the “Big 3” oil firms last year, has 665 service stations as of end-2020. Back in 2017, it established PNX Petroleum Singapore Ltd. Pte., which is into petroleum trading in Southeast Asia.
Udenna Group, Phoenix’s mother firm, also has a 45% stake in the Malampaya gas-to-power project following its purchase from Chevron last year. It now is also interested in the other 45% currently held by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.