Meet 2012's biggest business newsmakers

Posted at 01/01/2013 5:03 PM | Updated as of 01/02/2013 11:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - 2012 was the year that PLDT was supposed to buy GMA, and Ayala or SM was supposed to buy Ortigas. It was also the year San Miguel bought PAL.

Here are some of the people behind -- or in front of -- some of 2012's biggest deals and events.

KIM HENARES: BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares sparred with Manny Pacquiao insisting he submit his foreign tax documents, and then Chief Justice Renato Corona - testifying, investigating and filing tax evasion complaints against him and his family.

By year end, she was the first trillion peso BIR commissioner, and raring to collect P30 billion of newly increased sin taxes in 2013.

GABBY LOPEZ: ABS-CBN CORP.

For the first 3 quarters, ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez kept his cool as PLDT tried to bring TV5 and GMA together. He said what mattered was not how many networks one owns but how good a network is at producing content, and made a movie that made P300 million to prove it.

By year end, the PLDT-GMA deal fell through, and Lopez who marked his 60th year by running the Paris marathon announced he was stepping down as CEO while staying as chairman.

ROBERTO ONGPIN: DEALMAKER

The Corona impeachment trial sidetracked the Senate's investigation on Roberto Ongpin's deals with DBP.     But by year-end, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of graft charges against him and 28 others, the firing of DBP officials linked to the deals, and the anti-money laundering council got a court order to freeze over 100 accounts owned by him and companies and persons linked to him.

LANCE GOKONGWEI: JG SUMMIT

Lance Gokongwei was in the midst of talks to be part of the controversial Kazuo Okada's Entertainment City project when Andrew Tan snagged a part of it. But by year end, he had a comprehensive partnership deal with the Japanese gambling magnate giving JG Summit a whole new business line and three of his stocks were in the top 10 index gainers of the year.
           
ORTIGAS FAMILY

The Ortigas clan has spent most of the last 90 years developing and selling one of Manila's biggest landbanks without the hoopla of other developers.

But they grabbed attention this year after not one but two of those other developers -- the Ayala and SM groups -- said they were in talks for a takeover or partnership, and one -- Ayala -- said they had a deal. Six months later, there's still no deal, which only means they may be in the headlines again in 2013.

JAIME AUGUSTO ZOBEL DE AYALA: AYALA GROUP

Starting with winning the government's first PPP project in December 2011, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and his brother Fernando spent 2012 making clear the country's oldest business group won't be left behind as rivals bid for chunks of the fast growing Philippine economy.

Aside from battling for Ortigas, they partnered with Manuel Pangilinan for railway projects, the Aboitiz group for Cebu's airport and made a bid for Philippine National Bank. Before the year was out, they also announced the next president of Bank of the Philippine Islands, a regional investment banker expected to be more acquisitive here and abroad.

LUCIO TAN: PHILIP MORRIS FORTUNE TOBACCO, PNB, PAL

Lucio Tan started the year by selling half of Philippine Airlines to San Miguel, putting Ramon Ang in charge of one of Tan's most challenging businesses. He ended it by trying to sell PNB to BPI, which would have taken care of another part of his conglomerate. The deal is in limbo after he himself reportedly scuttled it.

In the meantime, he started to put his empire under one company, LT Group, and one leader, his son Michael Tan, while fighting an eventual losing battle against higher taxes on the cigarette business at the heart of his empire.

RAMON ANG: SAN MIGUEL, PAL

Ramon Ang spent the past few years pushing San Miguel into power and infrastructure. In 2012, he made it take flight, buying half of PAL and taking over management.

In October, he said he was gunning for a $5 billion acquisition. It could be a regional airline not subject to U.S. and European restrictions on PAL.

MANUEL PANGILINAN: PLDT, METRO PACIFIC, PHILEX

2012 wasn't kind to Manuel Pangilinan. He gave up his latest bid to take over GMA Network. And a tailings spill forced him to shut down Philex Mining's main mine and fight a P1 billion fine.

And while he didn't lose his bid to connect NLEX and SLEX, he'll have to share the traffic with Ramon Ang's parallel project. But Smart, his cash cow, looked good as rival  Globe Telecom was hit for real or allegedly bad service.