Uniwide ‘still viable,’ says SEC lawyer
MANILA, Philippines—The Uniwide Group will submit before the Court of Appeals a report from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stating that its rehabilitation is “still viable” since it has settled most of its debts to increase its revenues.
In a statement, the once dominant retail firm said that the 2012 report pointed out that the cash-strapped firm managed to trim its debt by 80 percent.
The Uniwide Group said the 2012 findings were necessary to their case with the Court of Appeals where they questioned the SEC’s order dissolving the company and then disposing of its remaining assets.
In their case before the appeals court, they branded as “oppressive” the May 30 ruling of the SEC. They hope that with the report made by Rehabilitation Receiver lawyer Julio Elamparo, who is also under SEC, the court will stop the Commission from carrying out its dissolve and liquidate order.
The six member-companies that have elevated the case to the CA are the Uniwide Sales Inc., Uniwide Holdings Inc., Naic Resources and Development Corp., Uniwide Sales Realty and Resources Corp., First Paragon Corp. and Uniwide Sales Warehouse Club Inc.
The SEC, in ordering the dissolution and liquidation of Uniwide Group, cited a 2010 report of its SEC Hearing Panel that the group could no longer be rescued.
But the report was overtaken by Elamparo’s 2012 findings that it had already reduced its debts to just P1.364 billion, after settling P6.160 billion of its P7.525 billion loans.
The remaining P1.364 billion in secured credits covers the amount Uniwide still owes its last two remaining creditor-banks — the Philippine National Bank (P832.96 million) and Allied Bank (P360.65 million).
“Uniwide will continue to cater to the C and D (income bracket) market, which are mostly the Divisoria and Baclaran customers/patrons,” Elamparo said in his report.
Although the petitioners knew that fresh working capital was needed to achieve even higher sales, he said that Uniwide, even without an investor, “can operate on its own and implement measures to achieve its targets.”
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