The group of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. may revive talks with the owners of GMA Network Inc. to acquire a minority stake in the broadcast company.
“You know, we are always open to, as I said, content providers like themselves [GMA7]. But as of now, there are no talks between ourselves and GMA7,” PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters Wednesday night.
Pangilinan said GMA Network was “quite important” to the PLDT group from a purely content perspective.
“Local content is still important to a platform provider like PLDT,” he said.
Pangilinan’s statement came after the majority owners of GMA Network abandoned talks with businessman Ramon Ang.
Globe Telecom Inc. also hinted it was open to other forms of collaboration with GMA Network, aside from content partnership.
Globe investor relations director Jose Mari Fajardo said Globe continued to “engage in discussions with GMA for potential content collaboration that would complement the businesses of the two companies.”
“As part of Globe’s normal business operations, the company is open to discuss other potential forms of business collaboration with various parties including GMA,” said Fajardo.
ABS-CBN, rival network of GMA7, has an existing partnership with Globe for ABS-CBNMobile.
The Gozon, Jimenez and Duavit families own a combined 79 percent of GMA Network, which airs on Channel 7 on free TV.
Majority shareholders of the broadcaster agreed 12 months ago to sell about 30 percent of the company to Ang. The agreement was announced months after PLDT ended a third round of talks with the broadcaster.
Ang offered to acquire at least 30 percent of GMA for P10.80 per share. Ang’s offer was higher than the P9 offered by the PLDT Group.
Ang, who had planned to invest in the media company in a personal capacity, said he was surprised by the announcement and was now consulting his lawyer.
“I did not expect this. There was no indication they would do this in the middle of negotiations,” Ang said.
Pangilinan said while he was open to revive talks with the owners of GMA Network, he said, “well , we’re not yet really ready. We haven’t really met internally to determine what course of action to take.”