MVP Group abandons Sky Cable bid over antitrust risks

5 Nov 2020

MVP Group, the conglomerate of several regulated businesses chaired by entrepreneur Manuel V Pangilinan that includes PLDT Inc., has withdrawn its bid for Lopez-owned Sky Cable (SKY Fiber), amid concerns its plan runs the risk of attracting the attention of antitrust regulators in the country – given its existing businesses that already overlap with those of the cableco. Pangilinan told reporters: ‘We have withdrawn bidding process of Sky Cable. Why we did that? Upon review of Bayanihan II, [the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC)] has power to review mergers and acquisitions.’ In short, MVP is keen to avoid a situation in which the PCC might force it to divest internet and cable businesses it owns – in PLDT and Cignal TV – to avoid falling foul of anticompetition rules.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September this year MVP moved for the Lopez-owned company which is valued at between PHP15 billion and PHP18 billion (USD309 million to USD371 million). Sky Cable (SKY Fiber) was founded in 1990 and is based in Quezon City. It offers broadband (branded SKY Fiber) and cable and satellite television services under the SkyCable and SkyDirect brands. It has at least one million RGUs. It is a subsidiary of the Lopez Group’s media arm ABS-CBN Corp, which was recently shut down after the Philippines’ Congress decided not to renew its 25-year operating franchise.

Philippines, PLDT Inc. (incl. Smart Communications and Sun Cellular), Sky Cable (SKY Fiber)