Manny Pacquiao tries to buy into GMA Network, rejected
GMA Network Inc.’s owners rejected their latest investment offer— this time from a group that included champion boxer Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao—ahead of next year’s election season that will likely eclipse political ad spending seen in 2010, its top official said.
The failed talks follow similar unsuccessful negotiations with other groups that included Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Globe Telecom and businessman Ramon S. Ang, president of San Miguel Corp., over the last decade.
GMA chair and CEO Felipe Gozon told reporters late Wednesday that the company earlier received and turned down a buy-in deal led by Pacquiao and former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson.
“It didn’t push through,” said Gozon, who did not elaborate further.
Gozon, one of the television network’s three major shareholders, typically leads negotiations for such offers into GMA, whose publicly traded shares are valued at about P23 billion.
Gozon suggested in the interview that GMA is worth much more, citing the premium placed on transactions when a controlling stake is up for grabs.
The company has been long-perceived to be on the selling block but Gozon said he recently met with GMA’s two other owners, the Duavit and Jimenez families, and a decision emerged to first “increase the value of the company.”
“We want to grow the business,” Gozon said. “This will increase our price.”
GMA mainly competes with close rival ABS-CBN Corp. and in recent months, the company has laid claim to national ratings, citing its popular noontime television segments.