GMA Network Inc. said its owners are ready to entertain suitors next year after two failed negotiations with businessmen Ramon Ang and Manuel Pangilinan, who had both expressed interest to acquire a minority stake in the broadcast network.
“I’ll be open next year. If the price is right, the price is the most important criterion. We are willing to sell all,” GMA chairman and chief executive Felipe Gozon told reporters on Thursday night.
The Gozon, Jimenez and Duavit families own a combined 79 percent of the network, which airs on Channel 7 on free TV.
Majority shareholders of the broadcaster earlier agreed to sell about 30 percent of the company to Ang, but the negotiations were scuttled after more than one year of talks.
Talks with the group of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. also did not push through due to price and regulatory issues.
When asked why the owners want to sell majority shares of the network, Gozon said they were getting old and wanted to fund a new business.
Gozon said he recently bought a cargo vessel that would be used for the shipment of virgin oil and coconut water products.
Ang earlier accused the owners of GMA of abruptly terminating the plan to sell a minority stake in the broadcast company while talks were ongoing, after the network blamed him for the failed negotiations.
GMA Network vice president for corporate communications Angela Javier Cruz said the Jimenez, Duavit and Gozon groups had not abruptly terminated the negotiations.
Cruz said the owners of the network were constrained to terminate the negotiations after more than one year of negotiations.
Majority shareholders of the broadcaster earlier agreed to sell about 30 percent of the company to Ang. The agreement was announced after Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. ended a third round of talks with the broadcaster.
Ang, who had planed to invest in GMA Network in a personal capacity, offered to acquire at least 30 percent of the network for P10.809 per share. Ang’s offer was higher than the P9 offered by the PLDT Group.
Gozon said GMA was on track to meet the net income target of over P3.5 billion.
“For 2017, profit guidance is around P3 billion, but not as high as 2016,” he added.
GMA earlier reported a net income of P3.11 billion in the January-to-September period, up 72 percent from P1.80 billion year-on-year.
GMA’s consolidated revenues amounted to P12.80 billion, up 24 percent over the same period last year, buoyed by the windfall from the recently concluded national and local elections and supplemented by the improvement in sales from recurring placements.
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