Not again! PLDT-GMA sale talks fall through

Rappler.com
Talks leading nowhere are getting tiring, says PLDT chair Manuel V. Pangilinan

NO DEAL. PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan says attempts to acquire broadcast giant are getting tiring. AFP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) said Tuesday, March 4 that talks for a stake in broadcast giant GMA Network Inc. (GMA 7) collapsed anew. Will the parties ever reach a deal?

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said they don’t know.

“I am getting tired,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s financial results briefing Tuesday.

Pangilinan said they received no word from GMA 7 about their offer for a 34% stake in the company.

PLDT subsidiary MediaQuest offered to acquire GMA 7’s common shares and PLDT wanted to buy its Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs). PDRs are a form of equity reserved for foreigners, who are prohibited under the Constitution to own voting shares in media entities.

PLDT is controlled by Hong Kong’s First Pacific Company Ltd. and Japan ’s NTT DoCoMo.

“Our offer… expired in the first week of February,” Pangilinan said. “There’s no news. We don’t know what’s going on.”

The groups were in acquisition talks several times – in 2001, 2004 and 2012 – but price and regulatory issues got in the way.

During the last round of talks in October 2012, PLDT offered to acquire the 79% interest owned by the Duavit, Jimenez and Gozon families in GMA 7, with a market value of P48 billion. They terminated the negotiations because they couldn’t arrive at “mutually accepted terms.” (READ: No deal: MVP-GMA7 talks fail)

PLDT has been snapping up media assets in a bid to transform itself into a multimedia company. Through MediaQuest, it owns TV5, and has stakes in Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, and BusinessWorld. 

On the other hand, GMA 7 was also reportedly talking to other potential buyers, including San Miguel Corporation president and COO Ramon S. Ang, who has a stake in Solar Entertainment Inc. – Rappler.com