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GMA Network to sell minority stake to Ang

Posted at | Updated as of 06/25/14 6:34 AM

Ang: It's a done deal

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - GMA Network on Tuesday said its major shareholders have agreed to sell a minority stake in the company to San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, GMA Network said its major shareholders have agreed to sell a "participating minority equity interest" to Ang, but the deal's final terms and conditions are still under negotiations.

Ang said his investment in GMA was done in his personal capacity, and will not involve San Miguel.

"It’s a done deal," he said.

Ang also confirmed he was acquiring a 30 percent stake in GMA.

Shares of GMA closed at P7.65, up 3.24 percent.

Prior to the disclosure, the stock had fallen 9.6 percent this year.

"It will all boil down to the price," Lexter Azurin, head of equity research at Unicapital Securities, told Reuters. "The speculation is that the price would be at a premium."

GMA is the main rival of larger broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp and its biggest shareholders are three families with no other major business interest.

The Inquirer last January reported that Ang had offered to buy at least 30 percent from GMA Network's majority shareholders, the Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families, at a premium of P10.80 (25 U.S. cents) a share.

GMA chairman and chief executive Felipe Gozon last month said Ang would "bring a lot of ideas" toward boosting profit for the network, citing San Miguel's growth following its diversification in recent years.

Last March, talks between GMA and Manny Pangilinan's Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) toward a buyout deal collapsed. At that time, Pangilinan said GMA did not respond to PLDT’s offer to buy a 34 percent minority stake.

In the first quarter of 2014, GMA Network reported its net income plunged 46 percent to P325 million, from P601 million a year ago. - With Reuters

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