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ABS-CBN board approves merger with 5 subsidiaries

Names new president for cable TV unit

Local broadcasting giant ABS-CBN Corp. is set to merge with five of its wholly owned subsidiaries, a move seen to unlock greater operational efficiencies.

ABS-CBN also named Carlo Katigbak, president and chief executive of Skycable Corp. and head of access, as its new chief operating officer (COO).

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ABS-CBN said its board of directors had approved its merger with ABS-CBN Interactive Inc., ABS-CBN Multimedia Inc., Sarimanok News Network Inc., Sapientis Holdings Corp. and Studio 23 Inc. ABS-CBN is the surviving corporation.

All these companies are 100-percent owned by ABS-CBN. Studio 23 and Sarimanok are both into content development and programming services while ABS-CBN Interactive handles interactive media services. ABS-CBN Multimedia is into digital electronic content distribution while Sapentis is a holding company for new businesses.

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“I think they are just cleaning up the house. A couple of the companies sound no longer relevant to the existing thrust of ABS-CBN. This may also pave the way for some rationalization of a segment of their workforce and their respective functions. Possibly, this could also be in preparation for more capital-raising exercises that require the balance sheet be sharpened a bit,” said Jose Mari Lacson, head of research at local stockbrokerage Campos Lanuza & Co.

ABS-CBN also declared a cash dividend of P0.60 a share to common shareholders of record as of March 20 and payable on or before April 20 this year. The record date for the Philippine depositary receipt holders entitled to receive the cash amount will also be on March 20.

The new COO, Katigbak, began his career as a financial analyst with First Pacific Capital Corp. in 1992. He joined SkyCable in 1994 as corporate finance manager and has held various positions in corporate planning, provincial operations and finance. In 1998, he served as the first managing director of Pilipino Cable Corp. He was then assigned to ABS-CBN Interactive as managing director in 1999 where he led the company to pioneer various digital services such as mobile downloads, interactive TV, online advertising and online video-on-demand. Katigbak returned to SkyCable as managing director in 2005.

Katigbak has a Bachelor of Science in Management Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2009.

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, Business, carlo katigbak, merger, subsidiaries, television industry
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