PLDT unit acquires majority stake in ABC-5, Primedia


Posted at Oct 21 2009 01:16 PM | Updated as of Oct 21 2009 09:32 PM

MANILA - The media arm of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company's (PLDT) beneficial trust fund has acquired a 75% stake in ABC Development Corp, the owner and operator of ABC Channel 5.

In a press statement on Wednesday, MediaQuest said it has also forged an agreement to acquire Primedia, a block airtimer for TV5, the current trade name for ABC Channel 5.

Media Quest said the acquisition of Primedia is likely to be finalized by end-October.

Malaysian conglomerate Media Prima has an interest in Primedia. Malaysia's The Star recently reported that Media Prima was eyeing to sell its stake in Primedia, which was a drag to the finances of the conglomerate. (Read: PLDT unit eyes majority stake in TV5)

MediaQuest said in the statement that its investments in ABC-5 and Primedia are "in line with its strategy of developing media, content and production resources to complement its other media assets and platforms."

The PLDT group's strategy has been convergence, which marries content and delivery.

Through MediaQuest, telecommunication firms PLDT and mobile arm, Smart Communications, have access to rich multi-media content, including the recently launched PLDT’s WatchPad and Smart’s Sandbox.

MediaQuest’s entry into free-TV broadcasting was designed to "further broaden and strengthen this collaboration with the PLDT Group," according to the statement.

MediaQuest's investment is likewise seen to create value in ABC-5, which MediaQuest described as "a strong No. 3 in the Philippine television industry" and Primedia.

"Mediaquest expects to further enhance TV5’s programming, ratings and sales as well as improve the broadcast network’s coverage and signal strength throughout the country."

The PLDT group also currently has a stake in Cignal, a direct-to-home satellite service launched in July this year.