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Gozon open to sell GMA's controlling stake in 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The 3 major shareholders of GMA Network Incorporated are open to selling their shares "at the right price," after the broadcasting giant set the base this year.

The 3 shareholders' total stake in GMA is 79%.

"I know there are interested parties. Actually, we haven’t talked. I want to finish the year so there’s a base," GMA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Felipe Gozon told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Quezon City late Thursday, December 15.

Gozon said his camp and the Duavit and Jimenez groups are willing "to sell all shares...if the price is right."

In December last year, Gozon admitted that his network turned down offers from "old and new" suitors, including boxing champ Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao and former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson.

GMA's majority stakeholders chose to focus first on growing the business and its value. 

GMA also announced last year that talks have collapsed between Ramon S. Ang and the majority shareholders of GMA for the planned acquisition of a minority stake in the listed broadcast network.

Ang had offered to buy at least 30% of GMA from majority stockholders at a premium of P10.80 ($0.24) per share. Some stock analysts speculated that the broadcast network might want more than what Ang had offered.

In February 2014, a similar deal between GMA and Manny V. Pangilinan's PLDT Incorporated bogged down because of a pricing issue.

Now that the broadcaster's net income jumped by 72% to an all-time high of P3.11 billion in the first 9 months of the year, Gozon said he, Duavit, and Jimenez "are willing to sell all."

"We are getting old," Gozon said in Filipino, pertaining to the 3 major shareholders.

In choosing the right offer, the GMA chief  said the price would be the main consideration.

"When you are selling control, that’s a different price. May premium. Hindi ko kino-consider market (There’s a premium. I don’t consider the market). You either want the company or you don’t. If you do, you have to pay the price," Gozon said.

 For 2017, Gozon said GMA Network set a profit guidance of "around P3 billion." – Rappler.com