Ramon Ang, Gozon group reach settlement
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Business tycoon Ramon S. Ang said he has agreed to end his dispute with the Gozon group over a P1-billion ($21.84-million) downpayment for the failed acquisition of a minority stake in the broadcast giant.
According to a statement by Ang, Felipe L. Gozon, who heads GMA Network Incorporated, agreed to return the P1-billion downpayment to the businessman.
Ang said in the statement that he has agreed to withdraw the syndicated estafa complaint he filed with the Department of Justice against Gozon, Felipe M. Gozon, Jr., Anna Teresa Gozon-Abrogar, Ismael Agusto S. Gozon, Belinda G. Madrid, Ma. Erlinda G. Gana, Jaime Javier Gana, Florencia Gozon Tarriela, Edgar Tarriela, and Tricia Tarriela Valderrama.
For Gozon group's part, it said in a statement Thursday that the settlement was initiated by a third party who is known to both Ang and Felipe Gozon.
"It resulted in a mutually acceptable and win-win settlement for both parties," the Gozon group said.
Ang filed the complaint, earlier saying that the Gozons never returned his P1-billion downpayment for his planned purchase of 34% of GMA7’s shares – despite an agreement stipulating a return of the money should negotiations eventually fail.
The talks between both sides collapsed in June. GMA Network announced the breakdown of negotiations through a disclosure at the Philippine Stock Exchange, catching Ang by surprise.
But Gozon told reporters during the network's announcement of its second quarter 2015 earnings results that he is open for a "reasonable settlement" with Ang. (READ: Why GMA-Ramon Ang talks collapsed)
Gozon also earlier explained, as stated in GMA’s disclosure to the local bourse on August 5, that “in making the decision to retain the downpayment, Atty Felipe L. Gozon did not consult with the other members of the Gozon Group. The said other members had no participation in the said decision."
The Gozon group earlier said: "The P1 billion remains in the custody of Atty. Gozon and has been deposited with a reputable universal bank, to answer for the damages that the Gozon Group has sustained by reason of Ang’s violation of his obligation to negotiate in good faith, to execute and conclude the transaction documents, and close the transaction pursuant to the term sheet dated June 23, 2014 among the parties." (READ: Ramon Ang negotiated in bad faith, says GMA's Gozon)
Ang has accepted Gozon’s explanation about the non-involvement of the other members of the Gozon group in the retention of the downpayment. – Rappler.com