Ayala Corp. on Tuesday dismissed as “rumors” the possibility of acquiring the frequencies of ABS-CBN Corp. which was shut down by the National Telecommunications Commission over the lack of a congressional franchise.
“As far as Ayala Corp., is concerned there is no truth to that rumor,” said Yla Patricia Alcantara, head brand reputation and management of Ayala.
“As the company reported in its recent annual stockholders’ meeting, Ayala remains focused on growing its core businesses while supporting immediate concerns of the government to fight COVID-19,” she said.
The Manila Standard reported that Broadcast Enterprises and Affiliated Media Inc., which is owned by Betlehem Holdings Inc., the holding company of Globe Telecom’s group retirement fund, may be used by the Ayala Group to bid for the frequencies of ABS-CBN Channel 2, DZMM 630 AM radio and MOR 101.9 FM radio.
BEAM is a broadcast company in the Philippines that operates free-to-air Channel 31. The company’s primary focus is on UHF broadcasting, but is upgrading its DTT for use in multimedia convergence. BEAM has transmitter facilities in Davao, Cebu City, Zamboanga City, Baguio City, Naga City and Iloilo City.
Sources said earlier that once the government auctions the frequencies of ABS-CBN, BEAM is in the best position to acquire them estimated to be worth billions because it is backed by the Ayala Group.
Sources said others that may join the bidding for ABS-CBN’s frequencies are Aliw Broadcasting Corp., Manila Broadcasting Corp., Radio Mindanao Network, Bombo Radyo Holdings Inc. and Sunshine Media Network of religious leader Apollo Quiboloy.
Kane Errol Choa, ABS-CBN corporate communications head, said there were no discussions between ABS-CBN and Ayala Corp. “It’s not true,” he said.
Sources believe that given the high valuation of the ABS-CBN frequencies, BEAM would have the upper hand in the auction.
Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, chairman of Udenna Corp., earlier said his company had no intention to acquire ABS-CBN.
“Let me be clear once and for all and say that we in Udenna Corp. have no intention to acquire ABS-CBN. Being in the business of broadcasting is not part of our corporate direction,” Uy said.