• GMA Network: Buy-in deal must be closed within ‘reasonable time’

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    GMA Network Inc. on Friday said it did not give businessman Ramon Ang any deadline to acquire a minority stake in the network, but a decision should have been made within a “reasonable time.”

    In a statement released to the media, Angela Javier Cruz, GMA Network vice president for Corporate Communications said:  “The major shareholders of GMA Network (the Jimenez, Duavit and Gozon Groups o) wish to clarify that contrary to the misimpression that may have been created that they abruptly terminated the negotiations for the purchase by Mr. Ramon S. Ang (RSA) of part of their shares in the network.

    “They were constrained to terminate the negotiations only after (a) more than one (1) year of negotiations, (b) they had accepted on March 21, 2015, all the remaining proposals of RSA as of February 27, 2015, (c) RSA continued to make new/additional proposals and/or make new requirements after the sellers had already accepted all of the proposals of RSA on March 21, 2015, and (d) after the statements of Mr. Gozon during the company’s financial briefing on May 14, 2015 were widely published in the broadsheets that ‘the ball is now in RSA’s court,’ that there was no deadline given but decision should be made within a “reasonable time.”

    In a separate disclosure to the Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE) earlier this week, GMA indicated its openness to entertain new partners and that the talks between GMA’s major shareholders and Ang to acquire a minority stake in the network have been “terminated.”

    Sought for comment, Ang said in a text message: “That’s not true. As late as May 9, GMA was still sending revised drafts of the transaction documents. On May 18, I replied on among others unresolved issues raised by their May 9 transmittal.

    “On June 22 at 5 p.m. GMA sent another letter stating their own views on the unresolved matters without saying that they would no longer proceed with the transaction. Then first thing the following day GMA disclosed to the PSE that they are terminating. If that is not abrupt I don’t know what is.”

    Interested ‘suitors’
    Globe earlier said it was interested in forging a collaboration with the broadcast company. “Looking at partnerships. A lot of it is about content. So anything that has to do with content is interesting,” President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest Cu told reporters.

    “Our CEO meant for any company that can add value to the strategies of Globe at this point in time,” Corporate Communications Head Yolly Crisanto said in another text message.

    “As has been said in the past, Globe is always open to opportunities for collaboration or partnerships in business,” she added.

    Separately, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) Chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said he was open to another round of talks with GMA Network. His statement came eight months after the negotiations to buy a minority stake in the network broke down.

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