Businessman Ramon S. Ang is making a strong push for a minority stake in GMA Network Inc., casting some degree of uncertainty over a rival bid by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., which has long sought a foothold in the major television broadcast firm, Inquirer sources said.
Ang has offered to acquire at least 30 percent from the majority shareholders of GMA Network, which is controlled by the Duavit, Gozon and Jimenez families, at P10.80 a share, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
Ang is president of San Miguel Corp., although the businessman—at this time—was reportedly making the offer in his personal capacity.
His bid was reportedly at a premium to that of Manuel V. Pangilinan-led PLDT, which was offering more than P9 a share, also for a minority stake, a source said.
GMA Network, which has gained in recent months after PLDT said in December that it had revived talks after two failed attempts, slid 0.56 percent to P8.80 a share on Thursday.
No deal has been closed although it was suggested that the shareholders were satisfied with Ang’s offer.
Ang, who was previously reported to be in negotiations to acquire Solar Entertainment Corp. from the Tieng family, declined to comment on Thursday. A PLDT spokesperson also did not comment. GMA Network chair Felipe Gozon declined to comment on Thursday.
“GMA could be a good investment target since it’s earning and is profitable,” said Joseph Roxas, president of stock brokerage firm Eagle Equities Inc. GMA mainly competes with the Lopez clan’s ABS-CBN Corp. for television ratings.
Roxas added that it made sense to acquire a stake below 35 percent as this would allow the buyer to avoid a costly but mandated tender offer—or a buyout offer to other stockholders.