Prelude to exit: Dennis Uy to consolidate Conti’s, Wendy’s under P3.4B food company

Duterte crony Dennis Uy is restructuring his food businesses – Conti’s Holdings and Wendy’s Philippines (Wenphil) – prior to a direct sale or initial public offering (IPO), or both.

A Babbler said the move is part of Uy’s exit plan as he seeks to divest his stake in Conti’s and Wenphil.

Babbler said Uy has been negotiating with several investors for his food business but they could not agree on the price or mode of sale.

According to the Babbler, Uy had originally planned to do an IPO for his food group but the current market conditions had forced him to consider a straight sale.

“But he (Uy) wants to retain a minority stake,” said the Babbler.

Over the last two years, Uy’s holding firm, Udenna, laid the groundwork for the consolidation of Conti’s and Wenphil under Eight-8-Ate Holdings (888).

In 2020, Udenna transferred its 100 percent stake in Wendy’s, worth P1.334 billion, to 888.

A year later, Udenna transferred its 70 percent interest in Conti’s, valued at P1.2 billion, to 888 through a share swap. (The original owners of Conti’s – sisters Cecille Conti Maranon, Carole Conti Sumulong, and Angela Conti Martinez – retained a 30 percent stake in the company when they sold their majority stake to Uy in 2019).

Udenna also sought to raise 888’s authorized capital stock to P3.4 billion. The Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve 888’s capital hike and share swap.

Wenphil has over 55 branches in the country while Conti’s has 20 stores and more than 850 employees.

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