GMA Network Owners End Stake Sale Talks With Ramon Ang

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GMA Network Inc.’s owners ended year-long talks to sell a minority stake in the Philippines broadcaster to San Miguel Corp. President Ramon Ang.

Talks between three shareholders that control a majority of the stock and Ang are “deemed terminated,” GMA said in a stock-exchange filing on Tuesday, without providing a reason. The owners will wait to see how “other interested parties will react to this development,” GMA Chairman Felipe Gozon said in a phone interview, when asked about the decision.

Ang, who had planned to invest in the media company in a personal capacity, said he was surprised by the announcement and was now consulting his lawyer.

Majority shareholders of the broadcaster agreed 12 months ago to sell about 30 percent of the company to Ang. That agreement was announced months after Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. ended a round of talks with the broadcaster.

Shares of GMA fell 0.6 percent to 6.29 pesos at the close in Manila trading, halting a three-day advance. PLDT rose 0.5 percent, its first gain in five days.

“If PLDT wants to dominate the Internet space, it needs the content which GMA can provide,” Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. in Manila, said in a phone interview. “This is their second chance.”

PLDT’s multi-platform business model requires working with content providers, Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said in a mobile-phone message, when asked if the company was open to renewing talks with GMA. “We’re open to any arrangement that marries platforms with content in whatever space.”

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