Pangilinan group to acquire Philippine Star

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Manny V. Pangilinan. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan expects to close within this year a deal to take over a controlling interest in broadsheet Philippine Star, a spokesman said Saturday.

The group is looking to acquire 80 percent of the broadsheet, said Mike Toledo, head of the MVP group media bureau. “Transaction (is) to be sealed within the year.”

“The group will also control affiliates of Star. This is part of the MVP group’s convergence strategy and evolution into a multimedia service company,” he added.

The transaction is seen valued at a little less than P5 billion.

It was previously reported that the MVP group was likewise working to acquire a controlling stake in Businessworld, the country’s oldest business paper.

Pangilinan, chairman of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp., first looked at the possibility of investing in Philippine Star, the country’s third mostly widely read broadsheet, in early 2009.

At that time, MediaQuest Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, conducted due diligence audit on the Philippine Star group, including its affiliate media outfits and printing plants.  Previous estimates pointed to a P4.8 billion deal, including fresh capital outlays and billions of pesos to buy out the controlling stockholders.

Majority of Philippine Star is owned by the Belmonte family while the estate of the late journalist Max Soliven accounts for over 20 percent, based on industry estimates. Owned and published by Philstar Daily Inc., the Philippine Star group was founded in 1986 by veteran journalists, including Soliven, Betty Go-Belmonte and Art Borjal.

Through MediaQuest, MVP controls TV5, the country’s third largest free-to-air television network by audience share, and Cignal TV, the leading provider of direct-to-home satellite television services.

The MVP group also made previous attempts to buy GMA Network Inc. (GMA 7), the latest of which was for at an estimated price tag of P52.5 billion but talks collapsed last year due to regulatory “risk-sharing” issues.

The acquisition of content providers is seen to be part of the PLDT group’s strategy of evolving from a traditional telecommunications company into a multimedia service company.

The group believes that owning, producing and providing content across multiple platforms is an important component of its blueprint for growth.

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  • shane oy

    another one falls to the vultures.

  • eight_log

    Pangilinan owns the hospitals … he has to find ways to make more people sick!!!!!

    People getting sick upon seeing their MERALCO and MAYNILAD Bills!!!!

    People will have indigestion upon reading his news paper!!!!

    More accidents will happen in the substandard NLEX!!!

    INCLUSIVE GROWTH AT ITS BEST …. fleecing the poor no end!!!!

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Convergence is not a new strategy. It’s been around for ages used by oligarchs.

    In the 1960s & early 1970s:
    Lopez + ABS-CBN + Manila Chronicle + Meralco + More

    In the 2000s & 2010s:
    MVP + TV5 + Philstar + PDI + PLDT-Smart + Meralco + Maynilad + NLEX + More

    The inconvenient truth:
    MVP + Lopez + Ayala = PNoy’s allies & election donors

    • batangpaslit

      U.S.A. is controlled by 200 Corporations.
      The Philippines is controlled by two families and their business allies

  • parefrank

    It is high time to stop Pangilinan. When PLDT was just PLDT, its service was much better and cheaper. Now, with two dozen companies, PLDT is merely the tool to make money for more buying into other businesses. Which also shows how overpriced it is. A one Megabit Internet connection is equivalent to about 20 Euro (telephone fees not included). In more expensive and much higher salary paying Germany, for example, you get for the same or even lower price an unlimited 16 Mb connection plus unlimited countrywide telephone and handy service, without the usual interruptions at PLDT..

  • barok

    This guy never runs out of money, buying companies left and right and he’s not even the highest tax payer in the country…BIR are you listening? SEC don’t you smell anything fishy aside from his ******?

    • batangpaslit

      it is not MVP’s personal money. his venture capitalist is a non-Filipino

  • UrHONOR

    Unang una, The EARTH. Sumunod, The STAR. Ano ang susunod, The MOON? :)

    • batangpaslit

      hehehe
      hahaha
      hihihi
      Your Honor, I doff again my hat. thank you for giving me another loud guffaw
      Chuckles…

      • UrHONOR

        Salamat batangpaslit!

  • isidro c. valencia

    That is a preparation for the 2016 Presidential election. Whoever in control of media has the advantage.

    Isn’t it a conflict of interest, MVP’s companies owned also shares of PDI? SEC should not allow it, if I am correct.

    What happened to that Anti Trust Law or Anti Monopoly Act?

    This is a first level stage to create monster, in the end, they will control us.

    • NegaStarr

      There is no anti-trust law here, sir.

      • isidro c. valencia

        That is true Mr. NegaStarr. But Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile has filed this Anti Trust law, approved by the Senate.

        But the House is not moving for some millions of reasons.

    • batangpaslit

      ICV, could you surmise whom MVP is going to bankroll in2016? on the assumption, of course, there is still an Election three years from now.

      • isidro c. valencia

        Mr. Batang Paslit, as you well know, Mr. Pangiilinan is a businessman.

        At this stage, his “Pangil” is still not showing.

        But we all know, he is against the Lopez of ABS-CBN and Group of Companies. He has to flex his muscle to level the playing fields, if not to level up, in media. Whoever Lopez will support, definitely MVP is against. TIT FOR TAT.

        The bottom line is the word “control.”
        Who said that “We control the government”?

        We need a third force against “ASWANG AND MALIGNO.”

        Mukhang kalila mo ako personally, ICV.

      • batangpaslit

        ICV, the Valencia I know from a distance is the chap who used to write a column in Real Estate. he is a friend of my Venture Capitalist. This was in the 80s prior to my move to North America.

        I admire, of course, the late Ka Doroy Valencia for what he did with Luneta Park—-clean and a safe place to wind up and enjoy the sights of Manila Sunset.

        I am clueless of your personae. But, I must admit your posts are sound and purposeful.

        “Third Force”!

        Yes, I’ll go for the group who have the guts to oppose the avarice and abuses of the Lopez Group of Companies.
        nabiktima nila ako nian.
        I would support candidates who have the heart for the Philippines.

  • TruthHurts

    But MVP already owns most media outlets and telecommunications of the country. That alone is already dangerous, since we’re not really sure if these companies would stick to objectivity, neutrality and truth as opposed to internal stability or survival. Information is vital to a democracy, when such is already controlled by a single individual or entity or group, we will have media oligopoly or monopoly, and we better worry about the integrity of the informations they dish-out or allow to be published.

    My other worry is, MVP is in cahoots with foreign entities who have stakes over his mining industries (gold, mineral and oil). The same foreign entities may have stakes over our own news. (This reminds me of Rupert Murdoch and Newscorp.)

    That’s not very safe for a true working democracy. Then again, whoever said we are enjoying the fruits of a good democracy.

    • batangpaslit

      democracy is merely a motherhood statement to deceive the Filipino people.

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