TV5-GMA7 merger report denied anew

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@paolomontecillo

11:49 AM June 4th, 2012

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By: Paolo G. Montecillo, June 4th, 2012 11:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Two of the country’s major broadcast firms denied fresh rumors of a deal that would result in an industry-changing merger.

In separate statements, officials said that while discussions on the possible acquisition by Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC), operator of TV5 of GMA Network Inc. were ongoing, no deal has been reached yet.

This was contrary to an article by newspaper columnist Ricky Lo published Monday.

In his column, Lo said ABC chair Manuel V. Pangilinan “virtually confirmed” the two companies’ merger, following a co-marketing deal between both firms with US-based cable TV provider Dish Network.

“To the best of our knowledge, the source of this information is claiming to have been misquoted,” GMA Network said.

“We humbly suggest that if the Exchange wants to verify the source of the information, they can do so with Mr. Pangilinan, who Mr. Lo attributed the information to have come from,” it added.

In a separate statement, TV5 president Ray C. Espinosa said the co-marketing deal with Dish network did not mean that ABC had merged with the larger, more profitable GMA7.

GMA7 is owned by the Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families, while TV5 is a unit of MediaQuest Holdings, a subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) Beneficial Trust Fund.

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