Filipino telco Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) is in talks concerning the acquisition of a stake in the country’s second-largest TV broadcaster GMA Network. The telco’s chairman Manuel Pangilinan confirmed late last week that negotiations were underway, adding that a deal could be finalised ‘within the year’. GMA Network vice president for investor relations and compliance, Ayahl Air Augusto Chio, echoed Pangilinan’s comments in a stock market filing, Friday, but said that no agreement has been reached.
Discussions between PLDT and GMA Network shareholders have taken place on various occasions over the past decade or so, although ultimately each time they broke down over disagreements on price. The telco, which is the country’s largest operator by subscribers and revenues, already owns a stake in the Philippines’ number three broadcaster, TV 5. However, it is keen to ramp up its ability to offer its own programming content to furnish its evolving telecom services. Independent reports estimate GMA Network to have a market capitalisation of PHP33.68 billion (USD790.5 million).