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Business

Rift among PRCI owners worsens

- Zinnia B. Dela Peña -

The rift among shareholders of Philippine Racing Club Inc. continues to heat up as the two factions continue to trade barbs.

Majority shareholders of PRCI have accused the minority bloc of resorting to extreme tactics as a way of diverting the real issue.

The minority group, on the other hand, has asked management to shed light on the acquisition of shares by Malaysian nationals in the listed horseracing firm and JTH Davies Inc.

Instead of “misleading and inducing the public to develop an unfair bias against foreign investors” — Malaysians or otherwise – PRCI majority shareholders said the minority group should just let the law take its course.

PRCI minority shareholders, however, said that “while they are not against the entry of foreign investments into the country, they are gravely concerned when this is done via the backdoor.”

PRCI director Brigido Dulay Jr. pointed out that PRCI breached the constitutional cap on foreign ownership in 2005 when the Malaysian-led majority started acquiring JTH Davies.

Kuala Lumpur-based Magnum Investment Holdings Berhad reportedly holds more than 40 percent of the listed horse racing club operator. Representing the company in the PRCI board is its chairman Datuk Surin Upatkoon.

Others comprising the majority group are former Executive Secretary Renato de Villa, Sta. Lucia Realty Development Corp.’s Exequiel Robles, and former Westmont Investment Corp. directors and officers Santiago Cua Sr. (who sits as honorary chairman of PRCI), Santiago Cua Jr. (treasurer), Simeon Cua (executive vice-president) and Solomon Cua (president and chief executive officer).

Dulay said PRCI management has failed to furnish them with detailed information and documents concerning the acquisition of JTH Davies and the proposed share swap of the ownership of the P10-billion Sta. Ana racetrack with shares in JTH Davies.

 “Why the majority directors chose to keep these transactions non-transparent continue to puzzle us,” Dulay said.

Meanwhile, PRCI majority directors said the company has already instructed its transfer agent to look into the 40-percent foreign ownership cap of the horse racing concern, pointing out that it is the transfer agent’s responsibility to ensure that the limit is not exceeded.

BRIGIDO DULAY JR.

DATUK SURIN UPATKOON

DAVIES INC

DULAY

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY RENATO

EXEQUIEL ROBLES

KUALA LUMPUR

PRCI

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