Coke keeps Powerade; Salud defers player trade
MANILA, Philippines—Coca-Cola has laid to rest all the rumors over the purported sale of its PBA franchise.
PBA commissioner Chito Salud Tuesday announced that the beverage company’s stake in the pro league has not been sold to another firm after meeting with Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc. CEO William Schultz on Monday.
In a letter addressed to the league’s board of governors, Schultz made it clear that no transfer of franchise rights transpired over the last fortnight and the ownership, operation and management of the Powerade ballclub remained intact under Coca-Cola’s control.
Salud’s announcement ended weeks of speculation over reports that San Miguel Corp. had purchased the Coca-Cola franchise for P100 million.
Schultz also confirmed an earlier meeting with SMC top brass in which Coca-Cola offered the franchise for sale.
The Coke CEO explained that SMC owns the right of first refusal to buy back the ballclub because the latter sold the franchise to the Atlanta-based softdrink company in 2007.
“While SMC confirmed its interest in maintaining and securing the right of first refusal to buy Powerade, nothing has been finalized and no sale has been concluded,” said Schultz.
Still, Salud decided to defer action on the proposed trade between Powerade and Petron that would send Tigers rookie Marcio Lassiter to the Boosters in exchange for sophomore pros Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra.
Schultz also named Ronald L. Asuncion as alternate governor of Powerade.
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