THE year about to end may not have been a very good one for much of the world, but for the Lopez Group, it was largely business as usual. Here’s a quick review of some of the Group’s activities and achievements in 2009. JANUARY
First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPHC)
enacts changes in its bylaws in a special meeting. The amendments relate to the submission of proxies, additional requirements for board directors and grounds for the disqualification.
Jesus P. Francisco retires as Meralco president after 31 years with the company. Former Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) president Jose de Jesus takes over.
Hong Kong’s The Asset cites Benpres as “One of the Best in Corporate Governance, Philippines,” while the Philippine Quality Awards (PQA) bestows a Level 2 Recognition for Proficiency in Quality Management on First Philippine Industrial Corporation (FPIC). ABS-CBN also brings 2009 redux The ‘LopezLink’ year-end report home four medals from the 49th New York Festivals. Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP)
, with ABSCBN Foundation Inc. (AFI) managing director Gina Lopez at the helm, is launched. First Gas Power Corporation and FGP Corporation bag “Ten Years of No Lost Time” awards from the Labor Department. Lopez Group chairman Oscar M. Lopez (OML) and Energy Development Corporation (EDC) president Paul Aquino receive the Public Relations Society of the Philippines’ highest award, the Grand Anvil, for EDC’s “Harmonizing Environment and Technology” program. MARCH
OML expresses optimism about the Lopez Group’s newest partnership after Meralco
enters into an investment and cooperation agreement with PLDT. Meralco leads the Group’s participation in Earth Hour 2009, a global drive pushing for sustained action on global warming. FPHC becomes the 13th Lopez Group company to be Integrated Management Systems (IMS)-certified. The Group’s family planning program enters its third year with a training of trainors initiative. Meanwhile, Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc. (KCFI) returns to Zamboanga to connect six more schools to Knowledge Channel. APRIL The Lopez family
is distinctly associated with helping people and providing quality products and services, according to a survey commissioned by Benpres. In the same survey, AFI’s Bantay Bata 163 is identified as the most popular corporate social responsibility (CSR) project across all sectors. Meralco welcomes the approval by the Energy Regulatory Commission of its rate translation under performance-based regulation (PBR).
Sixteen companies are nominated in the 2008 Lopez Achievement Awards
(LAA). The Business Excellence management group unveils the “Diet in Carbon, Max in Green” climate change program for the Lopez Group at La Mesa Ecopark. MAY
Meralco’s management team remains united following its annual stockholders’ meeting. Chairman Manuel M. Lopez (MML) emphasizes that its new partners are also known for their commitment to service, even as they strengthen the company with their own brand of business savvy, networks and linkages.
EDC, FPHC and ABS-CBN make it to the Institute of Corporate Directors’ list of companies with the highest scores in corporate governance after attaining ratings of more than 90%. The weighing game starts for 25 teams from 20 companies as the Lopez Lifelong Wellness (LLW)
team launches the Race to 120 contest. JUNE
Like OML, and their late father Geny Lopez before them, ABSCBN
chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez and Gina Lopez are named outstanding Manilans during the celebration of the city’s 438th anniversary. EDC takes over the Mindanao- 1 and Mindanao-2 geothermal power plants in North Cotabato, boosting its capacity by an additional 106 megawatts. LopezLink goes interactive with the launch of its online edition, www.lopezlink.ph
In the midyear conference, OML and MML reiterate that while their refusal to compromise the Lopez family values may have been part of the reason the Lopezes
reverted to being the minority group in Meralco, these same values will assure the Group’s continued success in future undertakings. First Gen president Federico R. Lopez touts EDC’s significance as a renewable energy provider at the same event, saying it offers value drivers that increase the worth of the company.
Benpres honchos thank OML for his support as the company receives its second international honor for corporate governance, this time from Hong Kong’s Corporate Governance Asia. FPHC pays 50% of its floating rate corporate notes ahead of schedule. Totaling some P6.9B, the notes are due October 2012 for the dollar tranche and October 2014 for the peso tranche. AFI caps off its 20th anniversary celebration with a special concert featuring ABS-CBN’s top stars. AUGUST
Benpres buys back $260 million of its outstanding debt from Avenue Asia Group.
The company looks forward to operating under normal conditions with debt at a manageable $70M, president Angel S. Ong reports. Meanwhile, MML
and Meralco are cited for management excellence by Alpha Southeast Asia magazine and Stern Stewart & Co., respectively. EDC wins a drilling contract worth $15M from Papua New Guinea’s Lihir Gold Limited. The company’s drilling revenues reached P726M in 2008. Its Unified Leyte plants meanwhile reach 1,005,706 safe manhours without lost time accident only three years after the company started operating the plant.
ABS-CBN’s coverage of former Pres. Cory Aquino’s funeral garners praise from viewers and listeners around the world for its pomp and solemnity befitting a Filipino hero. SEPTEMBER
Continuous rainfall in the course of 24 hours brings about the worst flooding in Metro Manila and nearby areas in decades. Sagip Kapamilya and other Lopez Group companies
quickly mobilize relief and rehabilitation teams to take care of the immediate needs of the victims.
EDC, through Green Core Geothermal Inc., boosts its portfolio with the Palinpinon and Tongonan geothermal plants in the Visayas, for which it shells out $220M. Benpres’ Rosan Cruz and Carla Paras-Sison and Bayan’s John Rojo join the ranks of Accredited in Public Relations (APRs).
In the Group’s annual economic and political briefing, Deutsche Bank chief economist for Asia Michael Spencer offers a largely favorable prognosis, saying the world will come out of recession within the next three or four quarters. OCTOBER
Palinpinon and Tongonan geothermal plants are turned over to Green Core Geothermal after paying P3.8M, or 40% of the total purchase price, and meeting other conditions in the agreement with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (Psalm).
Three teams triumph in the 2008 LAA, including first-time entrant EDC. Also victorious are Asian Eye Institute (AEI) and FPIC. In the Philippine Quill Awards
, ABS-CBN, First Gen, Bayan and Benpres rake in 10 prizes.
Bayan ties up with ABS-CBN
to provide voice SMS service for the latter’s Boto Mo, I-Patrol Mo (BMPM) campaign. NOVEMBER
ABS-CBN leads the third-quarter top Lopez Group performers, reporting earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of P1.79 billion. EDC’s maiden retail bond offering raises P12B, exceeding the target by P2B. the bonds received the highest rating, PRS Aaa, from the Philippine Ratings Services Corporation.
ABS-CBN beats its rivals for the exclusive coverage of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Nov. 12 visit, propelled in part by its “wide reach among Filipinos here and abroad.” The HR Council puts together a high-powered lineup of speakers for its annual HR Summit, themed “HRs…CEOs: Partners in inspiring change, driving growth.” The HR Council puts together a high-powered lineup of speakers for its annual HR Summit, themed “HRs…CEOs: Partners in inspiring change, driving growth.” FPHC agrees to grant a call option on half (6.7%), or 74.7 million shares, of its Meralco stake to partner Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) for P300 per share. If the call option is exercised, FPHC will continue to be entitled to one seat in Meralco’s board of directors. The KBPIP fundraiser, A Run for the Pasig River
, attracts some 22,000 runners. According to initial reports, organization was able to raise about P5 million for its task of cleaning up the waterway.