2017年7月29日

杜特尔特’s SONA marks start of 拉普特’s end?


Will 拉普特 close down soon?

In his 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo 杜特尔特 took a swipe at online-only news site 拉普特 when he said:
“You know, if you’重新读报纸,您应该是100%的菲律宾人。但是,当您开始刺穿他们的身份时,[您会发现]它是美国人完全拥有的。那’s what happened. It’只是刺穿… ABS, 拉普特, that’是你吗?您是否尝试过刺穿您的身份,它将带您前往美国?你知道吗?但宪法要求您必须100%做到---媒体---菲律宾。 拉普特,尝试刺穿身份,您将最终获得美国所有权。”
我认为这不是’这是SONA脚本的一部分,所以杜特尔特总统在他的商标Binisayang Tagalog中说了这一点,这对吕宋岛的许多人来说可能是个秘密,所以让我重申一下他说的话。

Essentially, 杜特尔特 said the following:
  1. Media companies are supposed to be 100% Filipino 拥有ed.
  2. 一些媒体公司发现了秘密的方法来解决此限制。
  3. 拉普特, when examined, is 拥有ed by Americans.
我认为它’最好从Square 1开始。

但是在进一步介绍之前,让我提供SEC文件的清单,这是本文的主要基础:
AFS是指经审计的财务报表,而GIS是指一般信息表。

我也要承认 Rigoberto“ Bobi” Tiglao大使。他在《马尼拉时报》上发表的文章对我将要写的东西的教学有所帮助。

此外,对于本文中的印刷错误,我深表歉意。我没有时间检查语法和标点符号,因为我今天要参加无线电广播宾客和婚礼。说真的

让’s go.


拉普特’s所有权:早期

拉普特 (Rappler Inc.)started in 2011 with the following 拥有ers:
  1. “Journalist” Maria 里莎 (57%), 
  2. 采矿大亨本杰明·比坦加(Benjamin Bitanga)等(通过Dolphin Fire,20%)
  3. DMT Ice Angels Holdings(17%)
  4. 其他(6%)
拉普特’s 拥有ership structure remained pretty much the same for the next two years, save for a short blip in October 2012, when a certain “Cappadocia Inc.” appeared to 拥有 29% (taken from Maria 里莎’的股份),只是因为它在一年后消失在其股东名单中。

买方’re悔?我不知道。你的猜测和我的一样。

2014年7月,Bitanga将他在该公司的股份从20%增至31%,另一位投资者Benjamin So获得了这家媒体公司3%的股份。
Then came a reorganization in 2015, when 拉普特 drastically diluted its shares to allow its newly-formed parent company 拉普特 Holdings to gain a 99% stake in the media company, basically adding a corporate layer, with 拉普特’s 拥有ership structure basically mimicking that of 拉普特 Holdings via the 祖父统治.

The 祖父统治 determines the actual Filipino 拥有ership and control in a corporation by tracing both the direct and indirect shareholdings in the corporation [普华永道]。

That is, whoever 拥有s 拉普特 Holdings 拥有s 拉普特 Inc.

拉普特’所有权:重组后

Since 2015, 拉普特 Inc’s 拥有ers are:
  • Maria 里莎 (24%)
  • Bitanga et Al(通过Dophin Fire,31%) 
  • 曼尼·阿亚拉(通过Hatchd Group,18%)
  • 苏建华(18%)
  • 公众信任与媒体集团(5%)
  • 其他(〜5%)
DMT Ice Angels, who 拥有ed a state before 2015, initially piqued interest because its 拥有ers are unknown, with Maria 里莎 once saying that it belongs to private couple who wish to remain anonymous. Some camps speculated that it’s ABS-CBN,但从Manny Ayala来看’s presence in 拉普特’自2011年以来担任董事会成员,’在DMT冰天使之后进入’退出,那么DMT应该是Manny Ayala ’s.

但是我们’re digressing.
A regular person would surely ask why 拉普特 would bother complicating its life by creating a holding firm – a corporate layer – when 拉普特 Holding’s only significant (and known) subsidiary is 拉普特 itself, based on 拉普特 Holdings' consolidated Annual Financial Statements (link to 2015 CAFS at beginning of article).

Well, a look at 拉普特 Inc’年度审计财务报表提供了一个线索。

让我们从他们的年度综合收入报表开始。


如果您看不清表格, 这是更清晰的副本.

拉普特 incurred P9 million in losses in 2011 and P23 million in 2012. I would say that that’s acceptable because 拉普特 was just starting at the time. In reality, I would even understand if 拉普特 repeated its 2012 financial performance in 2013.

But what happened was much, much worse: 拉普特 posted P71 million in losses in 2013.

Yes, it appears that 拉普特 is financially hemorrhaging: not just bleeding, but haemophiliac-level hemorrhaging.

规模变化?

我认为它’d be unfair to judge 拉普特’s financial performance solely on that. After all, 拉普特 appears to have scaled up its operations in 2013 when it posted twice as much income as 2012 (P58 M vs P23 M) against around twice as much expenses (P127 M vs P57 M).

You see, 拉普特 could have benefited from 规模经济. That is, 拉普特 could have reduced costs by increasing production levels.

In fairness to 拉普特, its 营业费用与收入(OER)比率 (lower is better) 提高d from around 2.4 in 2012 to around 2.2 in 2013. That is, 拉普特 spent 2.4 pesos for every peso it earned in 2012, and the situation 提高d to 2.2 pesos for every peso in 2013.Yes, 拉普特 is still losing a lot of money, but it can be said that the rate of loss has, whether significantly or insignificantly, gone down.

Of course, like any other company, 拉普特 will lose money (OER >1)在获利之前(OER< 1). And by 2013, or barely two years into existence, 拉普特 appears to be on its way to becoming profitable.

但是,问题仍然存在:它将在破产前实现盈利吗?

我认为答案是在2014年。

拉普特 registered P116 M in revenues against P148 M expenses in 2014, suggesting an OER of 1.27, a drastic 提高ment from its OER of 2.2 the previous year. Yes, it appears that 拉普特 just needs a little more time and it’最终将盈利。

盈利能力的急剧提高可以通过以下两种可能性之一来解释:
  1. 拉普特 indeed got more income-generating deals, or
  2. Somebody injected money into 拉普特 and made it appear as income.
而不管… Konti na lang, keri na si 拉普特! 

Almost Broke: 拉普特 in 2014

But then again, does 拉普特 have time?

拉普特 had P8 million in liquid assets by the end of 2014, and this was made possible by a P24 million cash loan from someone among 拉普特’s ranks.

根据其2014年财务状况:
“截至2014年12月31日,欠关联方的款项为P24,000,000,已用作营运资金。这些金额是免息的,被视为应要求支付。”
In short, it appears that one of 拉普特’s 拥有ers extended a critical financial lifeline to 拉普特, without which 拉普特 would’到2014年年中已经死亡。

However, with only P8-million in cash in December 2014 and P24 million in debt that can be collected anytime, 拉普特 needs to get additional capital before it goes bust.

我记得一个朋友,他恰好是该国四家顶级会计师事务所之一的最高执行官,他告诉我:
“Did 拉普特 create 拉普特 holdings to mitigate the effects of an impending bankruptcy?”
He said that 拉普特 can protect some of its earnings by transferring them to 拉普特 Holdings, which will shield those transferred earnings from bankruptcy proceedings.

But then again, 拉普特 is just three years old at this time. It’s still a startup, so 拥有ers can argue that it just needs a bit more capital and it’很快就会好起来的。

输入,外国人!

I do not really know why 拉普特 had to resort to foreign money, but it did. But foreign 拥有ership of media companies is illegal, so how did 拉普特 manage to do it?

拉普特 circumvented foreign 拥有ership restrictions by issuing at least US$ 4 million in Philippine Depository Receipts (PDRs) [SycipLaw],全部或部分出售给美国公司Omidyar Network和马来西亚的NorthBase Media。

支持PDR金融工具的人认为,PDR从技术上消除了个人所有权的概念’的投资,同时允许该人从股票中受益。即,从技术上讲,PDR所有者不是股份的所有者(避免所有权限制的问题),但是就像股份的所有者一样,PDR所有者也可以从公司发行的股息中受益。

这里‘PDR的基本工作原理:

第一, Joe (a foreigner) wants to invest in Juan (a Filipino Mass Media company), but is unable to do so directly due to foreign 拥有ership restrictions.

第二,乔将钱给了佩德罗(另一个菲律宾公司),然后佩德罗用它投资了胡安。然后胡安成为股东(”owner”) in Pedro.

第三, given this, Joe appears to 拥有 part of Pedro through the legal concept called “祖父统治”. Through the 祖父统治, if Joe 拥有s half of Pedro and Pedro 拥有s half of Juan, then Joe 拥有s half of half (one-fourth) of Juan, but Joe 拥有ing any part of Juan is illegal right?

第四,“Grandfather Rule” makes it near-impossible for foreigners to 拥有 any stake in local mass media companies. But PDRs are allow Joe to evade that restriction.

这里’另一种查看方式:
佩德罗(Pedro)向胡安(Juan)购买了50股股票,然后佩德罗(Pedro)重新打包,创建了5份特殊文件,每份文件都注明“本文件代表Juan的10股股份。”然后,乔购买了这5个文档,有效地授予了乔对佩德罗的所有权’50股胡安股份。也就是说,尽管乔实际上是所有人,但佩德罗似乎是50头胡安股票的所有者。
简而言之,佩德罗(Pedro)担任乔’后者的虚拟投资者’在胡安的投资。 

That is, 拉普特 Holdings is the foreigners’ dummy investor for their investment in 拉普特 Inc.

And this is how 拉普特 was able to allow foreign capital to enter its bank accounts.

和这里’在哪里变得更有趣。

是什么让奥米迪亚在2015年点头?

American investment fund 奥米迪亚 Network announced in November 2015 that it would invest in 拉普特 [], presumably after talks that happened between 奥米迪亚 and 拉普特 earlier in that year.

I think that 拉普特 had the stuff to impress 奥米迪亚 at that time.
  • 拉普特’核心团队成员的简历令人印象深刻。
  • 拉普特’的网站,显示出网络流量持续大量增长的迹象。
  • 拉普特 has shown marked 提高ment in profitability, as shown by its drastically 提高d expense-to-income ratio (OER).
Yes, 拉普特 showed major promise when it knocked on 奥米迪亚’我只能假设它向Northbase Media显示了相同的数据。

拉普特 demonstrated amazing web traffic growth from birth to year 2015.

2015年后:残破的承诺?

奥米迪亚 et. Al. injected massive cash into 拉普特 in 2015, presumably with the expectation that 拉普特, despite still being unprofitable, is well on its way to profitability. After all, by the looks of it, all 拉普特 needs is additional capital and it’很快会好的。

But after the deal, 拉普特 showed signs of plateauing growth, or something even worse.

拉普特 indeed registered an increase in profitability with an OER of about 1.27 during the 2015 talks with 奥米迪亚 as oppose to over 2 in the previous year. By the end of 2015, however, 拉普特 registered around P178-million in expenses against P142-million in revenues, suggesting an OER of around 1.25.

A mere 0.02 提高ment from the previous year is negligible, and it painfully pales in comparison to the OER 提高ment in the previous period. Worse, 1.25 is still along way to go, as 拉普特 needs to reach an OER of less than 1 before it gets out of the red.

当然,每年减少0.02韩元’t cut it. With a 2015 OER of 1.25, it'd take 拉普特 13 years of growth before it makes money, and I guess nobody has the patience to wait that long.

达到社交: “Not just news”

拉普特 argues that it earns from more than just its website, with its “ReachSocial” providing two major services: big data analytics and social media consultancies. However, 达到社交’s big data analytics suggest that 拉普特 has a sufficiently big data source, i.e. 拉普特’s website traffic.

Unfortunately, 拉普特’网站的流量停止增长,并于2015年中期开始下滑。它恢复并超过了2016年选举季节的2015年中期峰值,但该站点’此后不久,流量继续下降至2015年之前的水平。

rank2traffic.com/rappler.com
拉普特’只有拥有独特且专有的大数据池并可以吸引流量减少的站点,大数据分析服务才能获利’t provide that. After all, if 拉普特 provided nothing but generic big data services, then a client is better off consulting a company with a longer and more proven history of competence on the matter.

While it can be argued that 拉普特 still remains to be the third most visited mass media website in the country, the rising dominance of social media-based news, along with the proliferation of independent news site in the local market, suggests that mainstream news sites now have a smaller pie to share amongst themselves. Add 拉普特’流量的减少,情况看起来会更糟。

拉普特 and Social Media

拉普特’s social media performance in the Philippines, in terms of user engagement, is in the doldrums as it consistently trails behind independent one-man shows like Mocha Uson Blog, Sass Rogando Sasot, and Thinking Pinoy, each of which registers at least thrice as much engagement as 拉普特. To make matters worse, 拉普特 also trails behind mainstream competitors ABS-CBN, GMA News, the Inquirer, DZRH, and News5.
截至0650 GMT + 8时的Facebook Insights数据
With that said, I do not see how one would consult with someone who lags behind in social media. If 拉普特 knows social media, it would have demonstrated much better Facebook Insights figures.

而且,由于Facebook’s privacy policy, I have reason to believe that 拉普特’更可靠的社交媒体分析服务主要基于Twitter。不幸的是,Facebook(而非Twitter)是菲律宾最主要的网络。因此,它’s fair to question whether 拉普特’的社会分析数据代表了整个菲律宾人口。

拉普特’s losing fight on social media is best evidenced by how its CEO Maria 里莎 不已 抱怨 关于Facebook算法的不公平之处,因为她将竞争对手归咎于没有确定证据的游戏Facebook’的新闻提要算法来超越她。

奥米迪亚’s Influence on 拉普特

拉普特 has P96-million cash at the end of 2015, and it posts an average comprehensive losses of P30-million pesos in the years 2014 and 2015. 拉普特, after showing no significant 提高ment in OER in the past year, may go bankrupt in as early as 2018.

和这里’s where the foreign 拥有ership issue comes into play.

里莎’s rants about how social media works started right after she met with 奥米迪亚 executives in Spain in October 2016, suggesting that something must have transpired during that meeting, something that made 里莎, 据说是一个肯定的瘾君子,她急于要发表多篇文章,对世界如何不利于她的事情进行研究。

October 2016 is a year after 奥米迪亚 first announced that it would invest in 拉普特.

我只能推测它到底是什么,但是’我清楚的是 奥米迪亚 classifies 拉普特 as a for-profit investment, i.e. 奥米迪亚 expects 拉普特 to make money. The preceding sections, however, strongly suggest that 拉普特 won’不能尽快这样做。

我觉得在这里’s where the prohibition of foreign 拥有ership on Mass Media

Yes, it appears that 奥米迪亚 may be pressuring 拉普特 to “improve”以奥米迪亚认为合适的方式。现在,瑞莎可能仍然认为奥米迪亚没有’t “own” 拉普特, but I refuse to believe that the framers of the 1987 Constitution wanted foreigners to influence local mass media in any way.

Framers wanted 100% Filipino 拥有ership of mass media firms exactly because they want to minimize direct foreign influence local on mass media operations and, by extension, on Filipino public opinion.

拉普特 can argue all day about it being 100% Filipino-owned, but who are we kidding here?

拉普特’s Uncertain Future

Truth be told, I doubt that any foreign investor who is aware of 拉普特’s post-2014 financials would risk betting on 拉普特 today.

但是让’s go back to 奥米迪亚.

It’s bad enough that 据报道,奥米迪亚与美国政府密谋 推翻乌克兰政府,但奥米迪亚尔’s continued financial presence in 拉普特 can do more than just drive 里莎 mad.

Remember, 拉普特 is not showing signs of reaching profitability anytime soon, so it shall continue to rely on capital infusions to stay alive.

拉普特 is already on its sixth year, and it's gonna be harder and harder for 里莎 to call 拉普特 a "startup", which would have justified the massive losses 拉普特 continously incurs.

If 奥米迪亚 finally throws in the towel and divests in 拉普特 (or writes off their failed investment as losses), 拉普特’s PDRs will be as valuable as junk. That is, 拉普特 can finally say goodbye to any hope of raising any new capital from foreigners.

Thus, 拉普特 would be forced to swallow its pride and raise capital from local sources but…

拉普特 has shown a clear bias versus the 杜特尔特 Administration, and the 杜特尔特 Government has shown a clear dislike of 拉普特, as accentuated by 杜特尔特’s 2017 SONA。针对当地商人’避免与现任政府背道而驰,我相信商人可以找到风险和政治风险较小的投资。

Now, 拉普特 can try to weather the financial storm, but the 杜特尔特 Government still has five more years to go. 

I believe Maria will do everything -- and I mean everything -- to keep 拉普特 alive. After all, it's her baby. I think she's already doing a few things right now. As to what those "few things" are, I'd rather not say.

但是让我们问最后一个问题...

Will 拉普特 survive past 2022? I have my well-founded doubts. [思维派]

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