Duavit: GMA not for sale, no talks with MVP

Posted at 04/10/12 6:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Another owner of GMA Network Inc. said Tuesday they are not in talks with anyone about selling the company and they will only sell it for the right price.

"The network is not for sale…but that is not to say it will not be sold depending on the offer price," said GMA president and chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit Jr.

Duavit confirmed that the group of Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of rival network TV5, offered to buy GMA "prior to our IPO (initial public offering)" in 2007. However, he said there was "no development" on that offer.

"Yes, there is interest. There was an offer... We are presently not in negotiations with the PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone) group." PLDT is also chaired by Pangilinan.

Last month, GMA chairman Felipe Gozon said he was "flattered" by Pangilinan's admission that he was taking another look at investing in the media company.

"We are flattered by the expression of continued interest on the part of MVP. However, there has been no price offered that could form the basis of discussion between the parties," he said.

GMA is controlled by the Gozons, Duavits, and another family, the Jimenezes.

MediaQuest Holdings Inc., the media holding company of the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, made an attempt to buy a controlling stake in GMA many years ago. The negotiations bogged down after MediaQuest reduced its valuation of GMA to about P12 billion from P14.58 billion.

In 2009, MediaQuest bought Associated Broadcasting Corp., operator of TV5, from businessman Antonio "Tonyboy" Cojuangco. Since the acquisition, TV5 has been a "strong No. 3" in the TV arena, claimed Pangilinan.