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MVP says he’s still interested in GMA-7

Talks with GMA-7 were "very very preliminary," says businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan said his group’s talks with owners of GMA Network Inc, a rival of ABC Development Corp, the operator of third-liner broadcast firm TV5, were “preliminary.”

However, Pangilinan, who heads TV5, stressed in a press briefing on Thursday, March 1, that there are currently no talks going on with the owners of GMA Network, the operator of GMA-7 and the 2nd largest media firm.

“There are no ongoing discussions at the moment. But we would be interested. The interest continues,” he said.

“We talked to them in 2002, then 5 years ago [too],” he added.

When pressed if the rumored negotiations with one or 2 of the 3 families that control GMA-7 are true, he said, “the talks are very, very preliminary.”

“There is no agreement at all at this stage,” he repeated.

Not abandoning TV5

He said his team values the talents and employees who joined TV5 after his group acquired the network in 2009.

“They need not worry,” he replied when asked about the reported concerns of the broadcast firm employees over the interest of the Pangilinan-led group to acquire a stake in GMA-7.

“One thing we hold sacred to us [are] the folks who joined us — particularly the initial talents, staff, news people — at the start, we are deeply grateful for taking a risk with us and we will not abandon them.”

Mediaquest, the pension fund unit of the telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), is the de facto media arm of the Pangilinan-led groups. It has minority stakes in broadsheets BusinessWorld Publishing and The Philippine Star group. 

When asked if he is interested in ABS-CBN Corporation, which operates the leading media network, he replied, “I don’t think so.”

On government-owned media firms, RPN-9 and IBC-13, he said, “I would be [interested].

The privatization of these 2 government-owned media firms have long been planned as part of efforts to raise revenues for the state. – Rappler.com

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