MANILA, Philippines – Majority shareholders of GMA Network Inc. expect to formalize the entry of businessman Ramon Ang into the broadcasting company with the signing of a share purchase agreement this month or next month.
GMA chairman Felipe Gozon told reporters on Thursday, August 14: “We have agreed on most of the essential and important items and so I think that it is just a matter of house cleaning on some of the details. I am referring to the share purchase agreement and other transaction documents that will be signed in order to effectuate the so-called minority participating interest that we are selling to RSA (Ramon Ang).”
The Gozon, Duavit, and Jimenez families control the television network.
“Hopefully within this month in the early part of next month the signing will take place. Of course, the price is the most important thing and what will happen afterwards. We have agreed on the price,” Gozon added.
He said Ang would not acquire 30% – as the latter earlier announced – but a minority stake. “I am confirming it is not 30%,” clarified Gozon.
Ang, president and chief operating officer of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation and national flag carrier Philippine Airlines, confirmed last month that he was acquiring 30% of GMA.
This would be Ang’s second venture into the broadcast media business having partnered with businessman Wilson Tieng of Solar Entertainment Inc.
GMA shareholders began talks with Ang after negotiations with dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) of businessman Manuel Pangilinan fell through. PLDT had attempted to take over GMA thrice.
Gozon said they are happy with the results of negotiations with Ang. “The parties will not sign unless they are happy… I think RSA is happy also.”
He said they expect Ang’s entry to improve GMA’s operations. “The network will improve. It will have more revenues, it will have more shows.”
GMA reported Thursday its net income in the first half fell 49% to P580 million ($13.28 million*) from P1.13 billion ($25.88 million) in the same period of 2013. The decline was due to the absence of election-related advertisements, Gozon said. (Editor’s note: We earlier reported that GMA’s net income fell to P500 million. We regret the error.) – with a report from Mick Basa / Rappler.com