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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

ATTY. GOZON: WE WANT TO SELL GMA-7 BECAUSE THE MARKET HAS ALREADY MATURED!

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.

The network is controlled by the Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families.

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.

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

He 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 off this "expensive" 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.

Other offers

Last year the group entertained talks from other companies aside from Pangilinan's.

"(We are) very attractive and desirable, that's not only to MVP… There were others that expressed interest," added Gozon.

He added, "There is nothing permanent in this life. Even your children you let them go when they reach the age of maturity."

For the future, Gozon said, "We will maintain our lead, increase our international presence and exploit additional business opportunities."

In the first 3 months of the 2012, the net income of GMA-7 was down over 27% to P388 million from P534 million in the same period in 2011.

It cited lower revenues from advertising, subscription and other sources. These main revenue streams decreased by 4% quarter-on-quarter. - Rappler.com
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