MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is reportedly close to sealing a deal estimated at P52.5 billion to purchase a controlling 80% stake in GMA Network Inc.
This was reported by the Inquirer on Monday, July 9, citing “several sources familiar with the discussions” on one of the most-expected deals in the country since it involves GMA-7, the second biggest media firm, and TV-5, the third biggest and chaired by Pangilinan.
Listed GMA Network did not deny nor confirm the report in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange. It just said it is not the source of the information.
Mediaquest Holdings Inc, the corporate vehicle typically used by the Pangilinan-led giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), is supposedly the party that will effect the transaction, as was the case when the PLDT group bought other media assets in the past.
Inquirer said Pangilinan’s group is in the process of organizing bank financing, equity shares for possible share swap, and the issuance of Philippine depository receipts. Pangilinan had said that the GMA-7 acquisition will likely be sealed this 2012 and that his group will pay cash to entice the GMA-7 controlling families.
Rival conglomerate San Miguel Corp, which also expressed interest in acquiring a broadcast unit, reportedly offered a mix of cash and stocks.
In a separate disclosure, San Miguel denied this. “We advise that the Company has not offered any proposal relating to the payment of cash and stocks for an investment in GMA-7,” it wrote.
Menardo Jimenez, a member of the triumverate families behind GMA-7, is part of the board of San Miguel.
The P52.5 billion price tag reportedly valued not just the market capitalization of GMA-7 but also other factors, including debts, reserves and 1.5 billion convertible preferred stocks with voting rights. Pangilinan is expected to make a tender offer to minority investors, further hiking the buying price for a transaction that would likely rock the media industry.
Pangilinan had said he sees GMA-7 as a content provider crucial in the rapidly changing telecommunications and infrastructure dynamics. – Rappler.com