MANILA, Philippines - With San Miguel Corp. (SMC) taking over management control of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), the former is set to implement a number of changes aimed at putting the long-suffering airline back on its feet.
SMC president Ramon Ang has confirmed in a text message to The STAR that he is taking over as president of PAL. Business taipan Lucio Tan will remain as chairman of PAL.
Current PAL president Jaime Bautista will likely remain as a member of the board of PAL and parent PAL Holdings. Ang will also sit in the board of the two companies.
SMC and Tan last April 3 signed investment agreements that will result in the issuance of new shares to the former for a minority stake in PAL and low-cost partner Air Philippines Corp.(Air Phil).
The SMC group will shell out $500 million for the 49-percent stake in PAL and assumption of management control.
Under the agreement, Trustmark Holdings Corp. (Trustmark) and Zuma Holdings and Management Corp. (Zuma), the holding companies of PAL and Air Phil will issue new shares to San Miguel Equity Investments Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SMC.
Trustmark and Zuma are majority owned by Tan.
Tan and Ramon Ang, San Miguel President and COO, said the new investment would allow the two airlines to strengthen operations and stay competitive with the implementation of PAL and Air Phil’s fleet modernization program.
Ang has said that SMC welcomes the opportunity to participate in the refleeting and modernization plans of the two airlines.
Earlier, SMC said that it was invited by Tan to participate and assist in the refleeting and modernization of PAL’s aircraft in preparation for the projected heavy influx of tourists in the coming years.
PAL is over 90 percent owned by PAL Holdings which in turn is controlled by Tan.