Is businessman Ramon Ang still interested in buying a stake in GMA Network?
Even GMA Network Chairman Felipe Gozon isn't sure.
"I have to be very truthful to you. That was some time ago, so if I say that we are still close, nobody will believe me, so I won't say it. So at this point, let me just say that our attitude is 'wait-and-see.' The ball is no longer in our court," Gozon said when asked for an update on the deal with Ang at a press conference.
Talks between Ang and GMA's controlling shareholders - Gozon, Duavit and Jimenez families - on a planned acquisition of at least a 30 percent stake in GMA have been going on for over a year. It was first confirmed by Ang and Gozon in May 2014.
Ang even said then that the planned acquisition of a stake in GMA was a "done deal" as early as June 2014.
Now, Gozon said it is now up to Ang to decide whether he wants to pursue the deal. He said the shareholders have not given Ang a deadline.
"The ball is in his court. Since I'm no longer sure, it depends on the suitor whether they would like to court us or not. There is no fixed deadline but it should be done within a reasonable period which is not defined," he said.
The GMA chairman said the shareholders are open to offers from other interested parties, even the group of Manny Pangilinan.
Talks between GMA and Pangilinan's Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) toward a buyout deal collapsed in March 2014. At that time, Pangilinan said GMA did not respond to PLDT’s offer to buy a 34 percent minority stake.
GMA is the main rival of ABS-CBN Corp.
Meanwhile, Gozon said the media company will continue its manpower-reduction program to include its main office in Quezon City. This comes after GMA laid off workers in regional offices.