MVP open to reviving talks with GMA
MANILA, Philippines – The chief of PLDT Incorporated is open to revive talks with GMA Network Incorporated for an investment in the broadcast firm should his telco hit its financial target next year.
"It is too late to do anything for 2016, but we're always open. A lot of it depends really on how our numbers would look like for 2017," PLDT president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Makati City on Friday, December 23.
Pangilinan's media interests are under MediaQuest Holdings Incorporated, which is a subsidiary of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT.
The business tycoon has interests in Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, TV5, BusinessWorld (through Philippine Star), and Interaksyon.
"We intend to focus on looking at our 2017, 2018, 2019 numbers. Anyway, if there are any discussions, this will be 2017 already," Pangilinan replied when asked if he will revive talks with GMA Network.
After closing his doors temporarily for potential investors, GMA chief Felipe Gozon said his network is now open to sell a controlling stake – not just a minority stake – in GMA Network.
The 3 major shareholders – Gozon, Jimenez, and Duavit families – control GMA through their combined 79% stake in the network.
"We are willing to sell all," Gozon told reporters early December.
It was in 2001 when talks between GMA and Pangilinan on buying a minority stake in the broadcaster started. Negotiations bogged down in 2014 because of a pricing issue.
Ramon Ang, San Miguel Corporation president and chief operating officer, also offered to buy a 34% stake in GMA Network at an undisclosed price.
But a year later, Gozon announced GMA had ended talks with Ang, which caught the latter by surprise. (READ: Why GMA-Ramon Ang talks collapsed)
Gozon said he also turned down offers from from "old and new" suitors, including boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson.
Pangilinan's telco business saw declining revenues due to the pivot to mobile Internet and broadband from the traditional voice and text services which remain its biggest business. (READ: PH telcos, TV networks ride double-edged digital wave)
"I am quite optimistic that 2017 will show an improvement from 2016," Pangilinan said.
PLDT announced in November that it is looking at a normalized core income of P20 billion for 2016, from which it could take off in the next years.
In the 3rd quarter of the year, PLDT saw its net income shrink by 50%, same with its rival Globe Telecom Incorporated. – Rappler.com