Davao’s rock start of business and the Philippines’ fastest-growing tycoon, Dennis Uy, 44, is the founder, president and CEO of emerging companies like Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.
Davao-based Phoenix Petroleum (PNX) is a publicly listed petroleum trading company that has risen in sales, from zero in 2005, to No. 4 in petroleum products marketing with 6% market share, but far behind Petron, Shell, and Caltex which together have 58% of the market. Phoenix is the country’s leading independent oil company.
Phoenix Petroleum revenues peaked in 2013 at P43.85 billion (with P665 million profits) but profitability increased, to P1 billion despite lower revenues of P30.57 billion in 2016.
In the first nine months of 2017, PNX reported a P1.437 billion net income, up 59%, on revenues of P32.6 billion, up 37% from the first nine months of 2016. The 59% profit gain was largely the impact of its newly acquired LPG business from Petronas. Without that, core income was up 9% to P1.08 billion.
As of September 2017, Phoenix had 523 gas stations, up from 505 in end-2016. The biggest commercial account is Cebu Pacific which buys 5% of Phoenix products. Phoenix is rapidly expanding by opening more retail stations and cultivating accounts in power, shipping, logistics, transportation, and manufacturing, among others.
PNX has been a star performer in the stock market. Per share price has climbed from P3.40 on Feb. 4, 2016 to a high of P13.26 on Sept. 21, 2017, valuing the company at P18.97 billion and yielding wealth of P12.97 billion ($254 million) to Uy, with his 68.36% of PNX.
As of Nov. 13, 2017, share price had settled at P12.08 valuing PNX at P16.88 billion, a 247% or P12 billion increase from its low market cap of P4.86 billion in February 2016, raising Uy’s networth by P8.2 billion ($161 million) in just 19 months.
Uy has assembled a team of oil industry veterans, from rivals Petron, Shell and Chevron and other multinationals, with combined experience of more than 100 years, to manage and expand his oil business.
The Chelsea Logistics Corp. has the shipping businesses Chelsea Shipping Corp. and Trans-Asia Shipping Lines. Chelsea Logistics is now the Philippines’ biggest tankering company with 57 vessels and tankers, of which 24 are valued at P6.52 billion. Half of the 24 tankers are brand new, acquired in the past 18 months.
Chelsea Logistics Corp. (CLC) is planning an IPO (546.59 million new common shares at P10.68 per share) to raise at least P5.8 billion for expansion, or “for the acquisition of new vessels and vessel equipment, port facilities, containers and terminal equipment, the acquisition of other shipping and logistics companies”.
CLC has allotted P4.2 billion for expansion in the next two years. CLC reported a P132 million profit in 2016. It has total assets of P10.75 billion. About P1.37 billion of CLC’s P1.56 billion equity are revaluation reserves (assets repriced to reflect current prices).
Both Phoenix and Chelsea are owned by Uy’s holding company, Udenna Corp. which is engaged in shipping, logistics, distribution, real estate, and service industries. He is president and CEO of Udenna.
A business management graduate of La Salle and a good friend of President Duterte, Uy has been on an aggressive acquisition spree lately.
In November 2017, he bought lock, stock and barrel Chelsea Shipping Corp. which has the country’s largest tanker fleet by tonnage with 39,271 GRT, and renamed it Chelsea Logistics Corp.. He quickly revalued Chelsea’s tankers and prepared to sell 30% of the company to the public. Chelsea’s management has 470 man years of experience and includes the most experienced maritime professionals in the Philippine tanker, RoRo passenger and cargo industries
In June 2017, his company raised its stake in 2Go Group, Inc. and made Uy its president and CEO. Uy’s KGLI-NM Holdings, Inc. owns 60% of 2Go’s parent Nenaco which in turn is owned 34.5% by SM Investments Corp.
In July 2017, Uy also took ownership of Enderun Colleges, Inc. which has 1,200 students and a 1.8-ha campus with six buildings in Taguig. He already has a maritime training school to support his shipping and logistics businesses. “We believe that quality education and skills training are what make our human capital more productive and competitive,” he said.
In August 2017, Uy acquired Petronas Energy Philippines, which became Phoenix Petroleum’s LPG subsidiary.
In October 2017, he announced the planned acquisition of the FamilyMart convenience stores franchise with 67 stores from SSI Group of Tantocos and Ayala land. He will put the stores in his gas stations and maybe, hotels.
The biggest acquisition, from Kuwaiti fund KGL Investment Co., is Global Gateway Logistics City in Clark which is developing a 177-ha. Logistics hub at a cost of $1 billion.
In 2016, Duterte appointed Uy his presidential adviser on sports. To build the Phoenix Petroleum brand, Uy has formed a basketball team.