Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. may reconsider its offer to invest in GMA Network Inc. after talks between with businessman Ramon Ang and the broadcast company hit a snag.
“We are also very open to anything,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the annual stockholders’ meeting Metro Pacific Investment Corp. when he was asked if he was still interested to invest in GMA Network.
GMA chairman and chief executive Felipe Gozon said “anything is possible” for a revival of talks between the owner of the network and PLDT. The Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families own a combined 79 percent of the network.
“Since, I’m no longer sure [with Ang’s offer], it depends now on the new suitor whether they would like to court us or not,” Gozon had said.
Ang, however, said he would still pursue the acquisition of a minority stake in GMA Network, but cited some new but “small issues” that need to be resolved.
“This is [my] personal deal for a minority stake [in GMA]. The talks are ongoing,” Ang told reporters earlier.
Ang declined to disclose the issues, assuring that he was not running away from the deal.
Ang stressed he was “all set” with the acquisition until he heard about the issues he felt should be clarified. He added he already made a downpayment for the deal.
Majority owners of the broadcast network, which airs on Channel 7 on free TV, earlier said they started discussing with a new potential investor.
Gozon clarified there was no fixed deadline on the closure of the transaction with Ang, “but it should be done within a reasonable period which is not defined.”
Ang offered to acquire at least 30 percent of GMA for P10.80 per share. Ang’s offer was higher than the P9 billion offered by the PLDT Group.
The PLDT Group and GMA ended a third round of talks for a 34-percent stake in the broadcast company in February 2014. The talks fell through because of disagreement over regulatory risk-sharing.
Gozon earlier said he had recent talks with a new prospective investor he declined to identify.
GMA Network is implementing a manpower reduction program. “One thing that we don’t want is to be over staffed. We have to maintain a lean organization. In regional office, [it is finished], but there would be more employees to be laid off in the main office,” Gozon said.