Chavit claims GMA owners looking to sell out but he’s not buying. Find out why
Former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson revealed that majority owners of the country’s second-biggest media firm, GMA Network Inc., have come back knocking on his doors hoping to revive their aborted sale agreement in 2015.
But Singson said he was quick to tell GMA Chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon that he was not interested.
Not only because traditional media has lost its value in the rise of digital, but also because Chavit hasn’t gotten over getting burned from his previous dealing with Gozon.
“Masyadong mahal na, digital na ngayon,” Singson told Bilyonaryo.
Singson confirmed that he offered to pay P42.5 billion for control of GMA three years ago or nearly 50 percent more than the P30 billion offered by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Boss Manny V. Pangilinan.
But Singson said he was stunned when Gozon spurned his offer after the latter virtually dictated the terms of the deal.
“Matagal kami pababalik-balik sa GMA. Si Gozon kausap namin, sinabi niya kung bakit gusto na nila magbenta silang lahat, si (Jimmy) Duavit, si (Menardo) Jimenez. ‘We want to retire, we’re old, that’s the reason why we want to sell’. ‘Yun ang sabi nila kaya nagpa-due diligence kami agad,” said Singson who paid Philippine National Bank to combo through GMA’s books before making an offer.
Singson said Gozon told him there was no need for a thorough audit because GMA had been reviewed thoroughly by two previous buyers – PLDT group in 2001 and bilyonaryo Ramon S. Ang in 2014 who even made a P1 billion downpayment – whose deals did not fall through.
“Sinabi ni Gozon, ‘Kung bibilhin ninyo ito, bilhin ninyo sa presyong eto. ‘Di na kailangan due diligence presyo na lang’. Sabi niya P42.5 billion, sabi ko ok basta makuha ko before election (May 2016). We agreed and I signed a formal offer with all of his (Gozon’s) demands,” said Singson.
Up to this day, Singson still has no idea why Gozon sent turned back on their agreement and rejected his offer through a letter.
“I wrote them back: ‘We followed all your suggestion to ensure acceptance of your offer’,” said Singson.
He claimed one of Gozon’s partners was furious why the deal did not push through because he was ready to sell out at P42.5 billion.
When GMA’s earnings dropped sharply after 2016, Singson said Gozon asked him if he was interested in revisiting their aborted 2015 deal and he replied: “No, thanks.”
Singson said it was more practical for him make a bid for Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp. (IBC-13) which would be privatized along with Radio Philippine Network (RPN-9) next year. “Mas mura pa. We will have more funds to invest in content,” said Singson.