Benitez group ups settlement offer to STI

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2015 03:07 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2015 11:07 PM

MANILA – The Benitez family has increased its settlement offer to STI Holdings to P644.44 million in its attempt to end the ownership dispute over the Philippine Women’s University (PWU).

The new offer is nearly P100 million more than the initial offer of the Benitez group of P550 million.

“We again propose that we settle amicably the (PWU) issue,” PWU president Dr. Francisco Benitez said in its second letter to STI Holdings president Monico Jacob dated Feb. 27, 2015.

“Further, your recent purchase of Attenborough has changed the total amounts owed to you, which were not considered in the earlier offer,” he added, referring to Attenborough Holdings Corp. which was acquired by STI Holdings.

The new proposal includes the P65-million loan extended by Attenborough to Unlad Resources Development Corp., the corporate arm of the Benitez family.

The Benitez family is proposing a downpayment of P150 million to be paid within three weeks from reaching an agreement, and the balance of P494.44 million to be paid within a period of six months.

“We believe that the above offer of payment, which assumes a return of 8% per annum plus VAT, is a workable, rational, and reasonable solution that shall safeguard the school’s operations from further disruption, and the school’s community from further instability, while at the same time provide STI Holdings a fair rate of return for its loans to PWU and UNLAD,” Benitez said.

STI Holdings had acquired PWU’s loan with BDO worth P223 million in 2011. It also loaned P198 million to Unlad.

STI Holdings then declared the Benitez family in default of its obligations in 2014, and demanded P923 million as payment for the loans.

The Benitez family, however, has maintained that it is not in default.

PWU media director Lydia Benitez-Brown also reiterated that the family is committed to settling all its obligations to STI Holdings.

“This latest offer to settle with STI Holdings is consistent with the family’s commitment to settle all its obligations under fair and just terms. We hope Mr. Eusebio Tanco will consider the offer, as we believe it is fair to all parties,” Brown said in a statement.

“Our main concern is for the school. Reaching an amicable settlement with STI Holdings and Tanco will be very good news for the school, the students and their parents, and for the faculty and staff,” she added.

STI Holdings said both proposals are unacceptable because it is not in accordance to its contractual obligations.