AbaCore Capital Holdings (ABA) plans to fight back against “malicious” claims insinuated against the listed company by a Helsinki-based fund manager.
“ABA strongly condemns all allegations that are merely geared towards fulfilling one’s ulterior motives and shall not hesitate to take appropriate legal action if necessary. We are ready to answer such malicious imputations in the appropriate forum,” said the diversified firm controlled by the family of Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas in a letter to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
ABA’s response was prompted by a statement posted on LinkedIn by Burt Flynn, who is a managing partner of Terra Nova Capital owned by Evli Emerging Frontier Fund.
In his now-deleted post which was reported by Bilyonaryo.com, Flynn lambasted a “Philippine-based land holding company” for alleged breaches in corporate governance after divesting from the said firm.
READ: ‘Strong evidence of stock market manipulation’: Helsinki-based fund manager dumps and disses Pinoy company; disrespects Governor’s office
The post included a photo of Flynn with his feet on top of the Governor’s table, implying a reference to ABA, where Evli previously owned 20.2 million shares or 0.5 percent of the company.
ABA clarified that Terra Nova had “interacted” with the company “sometime in early 2019.” ABA has soared by 244 percent to P2.62 as of May 31 from 76 centavos as of end-2018.
“On two occasions, Terra Nova met with executives of ABA in their conduct of supposed investigation work for investment purposes and to visit the company’s assets in Batangas. It appears that Terra Nova has transactions involving the company’s stock based on publicly available disclosures of Terra Nova’s / EVLI portfolio positions,” said ABA.
Contrary to Flynn’s accusations, ABA stressed that it has provided its joint venture partners and investors with key documents to make informed business decisions.
ABA attributed the movements in ABA’s stock to the market’s positive response to the firm’s long-term potential.
ABA said its management and directors were selected based on their individual merits and qualifications.
“We believe that our management’s experience and skill sets have been a driving factor towards the company’s success in various sectors — whether it be real estate, tourism, and finance — throughout its more than 40 years of operations. These principles hold true specially for our current and past presidents including Atty. Regina O. Reyes-Mandanas who served the company well until her untimely passing more than a year ago since the posting of the Bilyonaryo article,” ABA said.
Despite the smear campaign by Flynn, ABA expressed its commitment to increasing shareholder value by leveraging its land bank in Batangas, executing ongoing business ventures, and forming partnerships with qualified entities.