Wednesday, May 16, 2012

GOZON: at the right price we might be persuaded to sell GMA-7

MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] - Amid talks of a possible deal between the 2nd and 3rd largest media groups in the country, an official of GMA Network Corp. said all major shareholder groups said have agreed to sell GMA-7 if the right price is offered. 

He also stressed GMA-7 is an attractive buy and that other groups, aside from rival TV5 chair Manuel V. Pangilingan, have approached to acquire them before. 

"We [are on] the same [page]. There is no disagreement among the major stockholders. We have one position," said GMA Chairman Felipe Gozon at the sidelines of the network's annual stockholder's meeting on May 16.

"Even if we are not for sale, at the right price we might be persuaded to sell," he said.
Three families -- Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez -- have a 75% controlling stake in GMA-7. The public owns the remaining 25% balance. 

The owner of the TV5, Manuel Pangilinan, has denied that he is currently in negotiations to acquire rival GMA7, but had said his "interest continues." 

"We are not really negotiating with MVP (Pangilinan). He expressed his interest, tagal na, ever since. He did not loose interest. Ever since the first transaction didn't push through, the interest remained," Gozon said, confirming Pangilinan's previous statements about GMA-7.

Pangilinan would only want an acquisition, as opposed to a joint venture, added Gozon. 

The GMA-7 boss said an advance offer was made last year but there was a sticking point--the cost. "It's always the price," he said.

Gozon has previously joked about a P60 billion deal price. Pangilinan had shrugged this off as an "expensive" deal price. 

"I'm just waiting for an offer that will be acceptable, so far we have not received any offer that is acceptable. I am not closing the book," said Gozon.

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