Loren Legarda’s son gets 8.5% stake in ABS-CBN

Ralf Rivas

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Loren Legarda’s son gets 8.5% stake in ABS-CBN
Businessman Leandro Leviste, the son of former ABS-CBN anchor and now Senator Loren Legarda, gets 76.5 million shares of the media company

MANILA, Philippines – Millennial businessman Leandro Leviste is now the second largest shareholder of media giant ABS-CBN after buying an 8.5% stake in the company.

According to a stock exchange filing on Thursday, May 2, Leviste purchased 76.5 million shares of ABS-CBN through LL Holdings, Incorporated and its parent company, Countryside Investments Holdings Corporation.

This is Leviste’s biggest business move so far this year. In December 2023, he sold publicly listed SP New Energy Corporation, to tycoon Manny Pangilinan’s Manila Electric Company. (WATCH: Business Sense: Leandro Leviste, Solar Philippines CEO)

Shares of ABS-CBN went up as high as 9.9% to P4.95 a piece as of 1:50 pm on Thursday.

ABS-CBN has been struggling financially since its franchise was revoked in 2020. It tried to sell its subsidiary, Sky Cable, to Pangilinan’s PLDT, but plans fell through.

In 2023, ABS-CBN’s losses widened to P12.8 billion. The Kapamilya network has shifted to content creation and is no longer seeking a TV franchise.

Mother’s Day

Leviste, founder of Solar Philippines, is the son of Senator Loren Legarda, who was a news anchor of ABS-CBN from 1986 to 1998. 

In a Facebook post, Solar Philippines pointed out that the disclosure comes “just a week before Mother’s Day.”

Legarda anchored ABS-CBN’s World Tonight at the time Leviste was born in 1993, up to her run for the Senate in the 1998 elections.

MOTHER AND CHILD. Loren Legarda anchors ABS-CBN’s ‘The World Tonight’ with Leandro Leviste, who was still an infant in the early ’90s. Photo from Solar Philippines.

“ABS-CBN is a great company that has helped countless people over the years. I hope there may now be a way for us to be of help, for the benefit of ABS-CBN’s shareholders and employees, and the media industry of the Philippines,” Leviste said.

An ABS-CBN anchor for 12 years, Legarda did not exercise her power to cast a vote as an ex-officio member of the House committee on legislative franchises. Legarda said she was “constrained” to join the voting due to conflict of interest.

In a One News interview, Legarda said she would have voted in favor of the franchise renewal. – 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.