GMA Network sees no future legal entanglements with Marcos gov’t
The country’s largest television broadcaster, GMA Network Inc., assured stockholders of a “harmonious and proper” relationship with the incoming Marcos administration while forecasting larger profits in 2022, sending its share price higher after being pummeled in the post-election period.
GMA chair and CEO Felipe Gozon assured stockholders during its annual meeting on Wednesday the company had complied with laws and regulations. Thus, GMA does not expect to encounter “legal problems with the new government.”
“We have no reason to believe that our relationship with the new government will not be friendly, harmonious and proper,” Gozon said during the meeting.
GMA was among the media stocks battered immediately after the May 9 polls, which saw Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the namesake son of the late dictator, winning with a historic majority vote.
Its shares rose over 8 percent to P11.30 on Wednesday after tumbling 23 percent after the elections.
Marcos’ win revived concerns over an ownership takeover at GMA, which is controlled by the Duavit, Gozon and Jimenez families.
In 2007, Marcos’ sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, filed a complaint before the Securities and Exchange Commission, claiming nearly a third of GMA’s shares that she alleged were entrusted by her father to the Duavit family in the 1980s.
The complaint, which did not prosper, was made ahead of GMA’s public listing debut on July 30 that same year. The Duavit family had vigorously asserted its rightful ownership in GMA, media reports showed at the time.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government is still trying to recover billions of dollars in ill-gotten wealth that were part of an estimated $10-billion fortune amassed by the dictator and his family during a regime that spanned two decades.
During the stockholders’ meeting, Gozon also touted GMA’s ratings dominance with its Channel 7 and GTV occupying the Top 1 and 2 most-watched spots, respectively.
Boosted by political advertising, Gozon said GMA was targeting profits to reach P8.2 billion in 2022 or an 8.3-percent increase from its historic-high net income of P7.57 billion last year.
Full-year capital spending for expansion was expected at P2 billion this year, he added.
Gozon also said they remained keen on expanding a partnership with ABS-CBN, once GMA’s major rival. ABS-CBN no longer airs on free TV after President Duterte and his allies shuttered its broadcasts two years ago.