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GMA Network buys back PDRs to protect franchise

GMA Network Inc. said it will buy back its Philippine Depository Receipts to protect its foreign investors and its legislative franchise to operate as a broadcasting company. 

The network said its board approved the acquisition of PDRs issued by GMA Holdings Inc. at P4.55 per share or lower until Oct. 31, 2020. 

The company said it would convert the PDRs into common shares. 

GMA said this was, “a measure of protection of the investments held by non-Filipinos in the Philippine Deposit Receipts.”

The network said foreign investment in PDRs “might be affected by the findings and recommendations of the Technical Working Group as adopted by the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises on the application for a new franchise of ABS-CBN Corp.” 

Congress earlier rejected ABS-CBN’s application to renew its legislative franchise because of violations such as issuance of PDRs that supposedly favored foreigners; inappropriate program content; meddling in politics; tax avoidance schemes; “less than exemplary labor practices; and the fact that former chairman Eugenio Lopez III was a dual citizen. 

Meanwhile, GMA recently promoted Regie Bautista as senior vice president for corporate strategic planning and business development. She is also the network’s concurrent chief risk officer and head of program support.

Bautista led the successful development and market launch of GMA Affordabox, the network’s digital TV device.

GMA chairman and chief executive Felipe Gozon earlier he was optimistic that the network could surpass the 2019 net profit. 

The broadcast network posted a net income of P2.63 billion in 2019, up 14 percent from P2.32 billion in 2018 as consolidated revenues improved 8 percent to P16.49 billion from P15.23 billion.

Topics: GMA Network Inc. , Philippine Depository Receipts , PDRs , legislative franchise
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