The chairman of the Inquirer Group of Companies on Monday confirmed that she has resumed discussions with long-standing friend and business partner Ramon S. Ang for the sale of the Prieto family’s interest and majority share in the Inquirer Group.
Marixi Prieto, in a statement, said the sale “culminates a series of talks that began between the two parties in 2014, and restarted early this year after the Prieto family completed its annual review of business plans in the Inquirer Group and other business interests.”
Prieto added that Ang will soon undertake the due diligence review on the Inquirer Group.
The Prieto family’s decision to divest after 25 years, according to the chairman of the Inquirer Group, is a strategic business decision that it believes will maximize growth opportunities for the group.
“The family is confident that Mr. Ang will uphold the Inquirer Group’s commitment to pursuing the highest standards [of]journalism. His investments and business expertise will unlock added value in the Inquirer Group’s newspaper publication, Internet communications, social media, corporate skills training, radio broadcasting and logistics delivery,” Prieto said.
All existing employment contracts of the Inquirer Group will remain in effect, she added.
“Both parties acknowledge that the multi-media organization is where [it]is today because of the caliber of its people, [who are]dedicated to the continuing vision and mission of empowering Filipinos by telling their stories,” she added.
Ang said in a statement the paper would “continue to uphold the highest journalistic standards and make a difference in the society it serves.”
Neither side mentioned the paper’s longstanding dispute with President Rodrigo Duterte, who has said Ang helped fund his presidential campaign.
In March, Duterte described the Inquirer and major television broadcaster ABS-CBN as “sons of whores” and warned them of karmic repercussions for criticizing him for alleged human rights abuses in the drug war.
“I’m not threatening them but someday their karma will catch up with them,” Duterte said, singling out the Prietos as well as the Lopez family that controls the television network.
“They’re shameless, those sons of whore journalists.”