Lopez firm buys ABS-CBN shares, PDRs for network’s digital push

Ralf Rivas

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Lopez firm buys ABS-CBN shares, PDRs for network’s digital push

ABS-CBN. Media groups gather outside the ABS-CBN headquarters in Quezon City to mark the first anniversary of the broadcast giant's shutdown, May 5, 2021.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Lopez Incorporated injects P500 million into ABS-CBN for the network's digital initiatives and content production

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN Corporation raised P500 million from selling common shares and Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs), proceeds of which will be for the network’s digital push.

In a stock exchange filing on Wednesday, January 26, ABS-CBN said it sold 21.32 million common shares and 11.5 million PDRs worth P15.23 each to its principal shareholder, Lopez Incorporated.

The price represents a 12% premium over the closing price of ABS-CBN’s common shares last Thursday, January 20, and a 19% premium over their 30-day volume weighted average price.

The Kapamilya network has been investing in digital initiatives and content production since the House of Representatives denied its franchise renewal in 2020 and forced it to go off-air.

On Tuesday, January 25, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) confirmed it had awarded Manny Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting System two frequencies previously held by ABS-CBN – the digital Channel 16 and the analog Channel 2.

Villar has yet to announce what he intends to air using the frequencies.

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Meanwhile, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s Sonshine Media Network International was awarded Channel 43, while Aliw Broadcasting Corporation was granted Channel 23.

Channel 43 was previously assigned to Amcara Broadcasting Network, which had a blocktime agreement with ABS-CBN. Channel 23, meanwhile, was where ABS-CBN Sports+Action used to air, popularly known as Studio 23 before it rebranded.

ABS-CBN is on free TV through blocktimer deals with Zoe TV and TV5. It also launched Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube and Facebook. – Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.