MANILA, Philippines – Ayala-led Globe Telecom Incorporated is open to reviving talks with GMA Network Incorporated, after negotiations with businessman Ramon Ang for the acquisition of a minority stake in the broadcast company collapsed. (READ: GMA-Ramon Ang talks collapse)
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Wednesday, June 24, Globe investor relations director Jose Mari Fajardo said the telecommunications provider is open to discussing other forms of partnership with GMA.
“As part of Globe’s normal business operations, the company is open to discuss other potential forms of business collaboration with various parties, including GMA,” Fajardo said.
Fajardo pointed out that it is currently in discussion with GMA for content partnership.
“We wish to confirm that Globe continues to engage in discussions with GMA for potential content collaboration that would complement the businesses of the two companies,” the official told the local bourse.
Globe was one of the many suitors that courted the majority shareholders of GMA.
GMA chairman Felipe Gozon confirmed early this month that it was in talks with telecommunications providers to distribute its content through mobile and broadband devices.
“We don’t have the kind of money to invest in a telco, so we need their infrastructure to distribute our content. It’s a joint venture to sell our content,” Gozon said.
Globe has an existing partnership with GMA rival ABS-CBN Corporation for the launch of ABS-CBNMobile.
Partnership with PLDT?
Another perennial suitor was dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), chaired by Manuel V. Pangilinan that has interests in broadcast media through TV5 and Interaksyon.com,as well as print media through BusinessWorld, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Philippine Star.
Pangilinan earlier said the PLDT Group was open to renewing talks with the majority shareholders of GMA after botched attempts to buy into the listed broadcast company.
In a text message sent by MVP Group of Companies media head Michael Toledo, Pangilinan said the PLDT Group would need to work with over-the-top content providers like GMA because of the digital pivot that it is now undertaking.
“From that perspective, we’re open to any arrangement that marries platform with content in whatever space might exist or develop,” Toledo said quoting Pangilinan.
The PLDT Group has failed 3 times to buy into GMA. Its last offer was P9 ($.20) per share but was eventually turned down by the majority shareholders of GMA.
Then GMA announced on June 23 that the majority shareholders of the company headed by the Gozon, Duavit, and Jimenez families have terminated talks with Ang for a possible stake in the broadcast firm.
Ang was surprised. “I did not expect this. There was no indication they would do this in the middle of negotiations,” Ang said in a text message.
“I am consulting with my lawyer and I am awaiting for an explanation,” Ang added.
Both Ang and Gozon confirmed in May 2014 that talks were ongoing after negotiations with PLDT bogged down anew. Ang made an offer of P10.80 ($.24) per share significantly higher than the offer made by PLDT.
Exactly a year ago, the president of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation announced that he was personally acquiring a stake in GMA and that the transaction involving the acquisition of at least a 30% interest in the broadcast firm was a done deal.
The GMA-Ang talks was the fifth time that the broadcast giant terminated with a possible investor; and analysts said it could be because of a higher offer or a price no one can afford. (READ: Why GMA-Ramon Ang talks collapsed) – Rappler.com