GMA Network says 'flattered' by Pangilinan's interest

by Coco Alcuaz, ANC

Posted at Mar 03 2012 12:55 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2012 07:24 PM

...but no price discussed yet

MANILA, Philippines - GMA Network Inc. Chairman Felipe Gozon said PLDT and TV5 Chairman Manuel Pangilinan hasn't offered a price for the network, supporting Pangilinan's recent statement that acquisition talks are "very preliminary."

"We are flattered by the expression of continued interest on the part of MVP," Gozon said in a text message. "However, there has been no price offered that could form the basis of discussion between the parties."

At a Thursday press conference of another Panglinan-led firm, Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Pangilinan made his first official statement of any recent discussions with GMA, saying these are "very preliminary."

Pangilinan reminded reporters there have been on and off talks since 2002. There have been reports of talks since at least 2001.

GMA climbed 3.3% on Friday, bringing its gains this year to 55% and pushing its market capitalization to P32 billion, amid the takeover speculation. The Philippine Stock Exchange index rose 16% this year.

In the first nine months of 2011, profit of the nation's second-largest network fell 30% to P1.58 billion as revenue dropped 7% to 10.1 billion.

Profit of larger rival ABS-CBN Corp. declined 23% to P2.24 billion as revenue slipped 15% to 21.1 billion. TV5 doesn't release earnings as it's not a public company, being owned since 2009 by Mediaquest, a unit of PLDT's pension fund.

Gozon owns 20% of GMA, according to GMA disclosures. The Duavit and Jimenez families own 23% each. is a unit of ABS-CBN Corp., which is owned by the Lopez family.