The Securities and Exchange Commission slapped Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc. with a fine of P346,000 for failing to disclose the reassignment of its frequencies.
SEC’s market securities regulations department officer-in-charge Emma Valencia said in a letter to Liberty Telecoms the company failed to timely disclose the reassignment of the 723-738/778-793 megahertz and 2555-2595 MHz from Tori Spectrum Telecom to Bell Telecommunications Inc., which was approved by the National Telecommunications Commission on March 17, 2015.
Liberty Telecoms’ explanation that the reassignment of frequencies was never disclosed because it considered it a “soft information” was without merit, according to SEC.
SEC said there was already an approval from the NTC regarding the plan which could affect investors’ decision in relation to Liberty Telecoms’ securities.
Liberty Telecoms, now owned by PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom after they acquired parent firm Vega Telecom from San Miguel Corp., said the board had no personal knowledge of the matter because the new board was formed on Aug. 18, 2016.
“After carefully evaluating the company’s response, MSRD finds the company’s explanation without merit due to the fact that this is a corporate liability and on the basis that the company should be made liable for all its corporate acts, notwithstanding that there was a change in management in accordance with the principle of business continuity and succession,” SEC said.
SEC said as this was only the first offense committed by Liberty Telecoms, the company received a basic fine of P100,000 plus P500 a day for 492 days of continuing violation.
“The imposition of the foregoing penalties shall be without prejudice to the imposition of other penalties that may be imposed due to the deficiencies/deviations that will be noted in the company’s financial statements based on the Securities Regulation Code Rule 68, as amended,” SEC said.
Meanwhile, Liberty Telecoms announced the successful conclusion of the tender offer made by Vega Telecom for all the common shares held by minority investors of the company.
The company did not say how many shares held by minority shareholders were tendered at the end of tender offer on Wednesday.
Vega Telecom is undertaking a tender offer as it plans to delist Liberty Telecoms from the Philippine Stock Exchange.