Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nestle Philippines Inc. v. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 86738, November 13, 1991

Nestle Philippines Inc. v. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 86738, November 13, 1991
Corporation Law Case Digest by John Paul C. Ladiao (15 March 2016)
(Topic: Consideration for Stocks and Transfer)

FACTS:

Sometime in February 1983, the authorized capital stock of petitioner Nestle Philippines Inc. ("Nestle") was increased from P300 million divided into 3 million shares with a par value of P100.00 per share, to P600 million divided into 6 million shares with a par value of P100.00 per share. Nestle underwent the necessary procedures involving Board and stockholders approvals and effected the necessary filings to secure the approval of the increase of authorized capital stock by respondent Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), which approval was in fact granted.

Nestle has only two (2) principal stockholders: San Miguel Corporation and Nestle S.A

On 16 December 1983, the Board of Directors and stockholders of Nestle approved resolutions authorizing the issuance of 344,500 shares out of the previously authorized but unissued capital stock of Nestle, exclusively to San Miguel Corporation and to Nestle S.A. San Miguel Corporation subscribed to and completely paid up 168,800 shares, while Nestle S.A. subscribed to and paid up the balance of 175,700 shares of stock.

On 28 March 1985, petitioner Nestle filed a letter signed by its Corporate Secretary, M.L. Antonio, with the SEC seeking exemption of its proposed issuance of additional shares to its existing principal shareholders, from the registration requirement of Section 4 of the Revised Securities Act and from payment of the fee referred to in Section 6(c) of the same Act.

The Commission then advised petitioner to file the appropriate request for exemption and to pay the fee required under Section 6 (c) of the statute, which provides:

(c) A fee equivalent to one-tenth of one per centum of the maximum aggregate price or issued value of the securities shall be collected by the Commission for granting a general or particular exemption from the registration requirements of this Act.

ISSUE:

Whether or not that there is a need to file a petition for exemption under Section 6(b) of the Revised Securities Act with respect to the issuance of the said 344,600 additional shares to their existing stockholders out of their unissued capital stock?

RULING:

Yes.

The reading by the SEC of the scope of application of Section 6(a) (4) permits greater opportunity for the SEC to implement the statutory objective of protecting the investing public by requiring proposed issuers of capital stock to inform such public of the true financial conditions and prospects of the corporation.

When capital stock is issued in the course of and in compliance with the requirements of increasing its authorized capital stock under Section 38 of the Corporation Code, the SEC as a matter of course examines the financial condition of the corporation, and hence there is no real need for exercise of SEC authority under the Revised Securities Act.

In contrast, under the ruling issued by the SEC, an issuance of previously authorized but still unissued capital stock may, in a particular instance, be held to be an exempt transaction by the SEC under Section 6(b) so long as the SEC finds that the requirements of registration under the Revised Securities Act are "not necessary in the public interest and for the protection of the investors" by reason, inter alia, of the small amount of stock that is proposed to be issued or because the potential buyers are very limited in number and are in a position to protect themselves

The principle that the contemporaneous construction of a statute by the executive officers of the government, whose duty is to execute it, is entitled to great respect, and should ordinarily control the construction of the statute by the courts, is so firmly embedded in our jurisdiction that no authorities need be cited to support it.

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