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Telco hangs up on bid for GMA's Channel 7. (Philippines).

MANILA Leading telco Philippine Long Distance Co. (PLDT) has shelved its acquisition of GMA, the country's second-largest TV company.

Both parties signed a memorandum of understanding in February giving PLDT's Mediaquest Holdings 67% of the company, which runs Channel 7 plus 42 radio stations nationwide. GMA's value was pegged at P14.588 billion ($286 million).

Last month PLDT changed that valuation to $235 million and declared that, due to its own outstanding debts, it wanted just 20% of GMA.

PLDT president-CEO Manuel Pangilinan says PLDT is "postponing" the acquisition to focus on its core business of telephony and settle debts.

There also are questions about the legality of PLDT's bid for GMA, since the former is indirectly owned by foreign interests in Hong Kong and Indonesia.

No convergence

PLDT's failure to bring GMA into its fold means it has kissed its convergence dreams goodbye for the time being.

PLDT went on a buying spree in 1999 and 2000, picking up a telco, a cable TV company, a radio network and an Internet provider in its plan to rival No. 1 network ABS-CBN and pursue convergence. The only thing missing was a content provider, which GMA would have supplied.

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Title Annotation:Philippine Long Distance Co. shelves acquisition
Comment:Telco hangs up on bid for GMA's Channel 7. (Philippines).(Philippine Long Distance Co. shelves acquisition)
Author:Jazmines, Tessa
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 10, 2001
Words:198
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