Another conglomerate courting GMA Network - Gozon
16-May-12, 11:36 AM | Darwin G. Amojelar, InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATED 2:15 p.m.) The chairman of GMA Network Inc. said another conglomerate is interested in acquiring the broadcast company.
During GMA Network's annual stockholders meeting, Felipe Gozon said a second company apart from the PLDT group has expressed interest in buying into the broadcast firm. He however refused to divulge the identity of the new suitor.
"There were others who expressed interest. Of course, Filipino conglomerate. GMA is very attractive and desirable not only to MVP," Gozon said, referring to Manuel V. Pangilinan, who chairs Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.
The PLDT group has been reported to have offered to acquire GMA Network, but talks have stalled on an acceptable price for both parties.
"He did not lose interest. Ever since the first transaction did not push through, the interest remained," Gozon however said, referring to Pangilinan.
"It's always the price," Gozon said, referring to why the PLDT group's acquisition bid has failed to prosper, adding that the P60 billion acquisition price quoted in a newspaper report was "wrong."
"No such thing. No P60 billion offer," he said.
Gozon said the PLDT group however made a revised offer. "There were. Not this year. I'm not at liberty to say," he said.
"I'm just waiting for an offer that will be acceptable. So far we have not received any offer that is acceptable. I am not closing the doors. That is the most I am going to say. So, there is nothing to evaluate. We are not really selling, but we are entertaining offers. As I said before, even if we are not for not sale but for the right price we might be persuaded," the executive said, adding that majority of shareholders have the same position.
Gozon's statement comes in the wake of a boast by San Miguel Corp. chief executive officer Ramon S. Ang that GMA Network's owners are his friends and that they would not sell to the PLDT group.
GMA Network has a market capitalization of P22.45 billion. Gozon said the company is expecting to post a net income of P2.8 billion this year, higher than last year's P1.72 billion. In the first quarter, the company posted a net income of P388 million, down from last year's P534 million.
Recently, PLDT said it would invest P6 billion in its broadcast unit, TV5, and direct-to-home pay-TV service, Cignal, as the telecom giant veers away from traditional telephony to create new revenue streams in multi-media and content generation.
InterAksyon.com is the online news portal of TV5, which Pangilinan chairs.