Rumors have been circulating about GMA-7 and TV5's possible merger since December 2011, but both camps have consistently denied that this deal would push through. During Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company's annual stockholders meeting on June 14, however, TV5 chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, popularly known as MVP, finally spoke about the issue, Rappler.com reports.

"I would say certainly within the year we should be able to create an agreement, but that agreement will be subject to a number of conditions for closing," he is quoted as saying.

MVP said the two camps began discussions before he went to the US to launch TV5 International earlier in June. "There are still a lot of issues to be discussed—due diligence, warranties, etc.—but you could sense that there are positive vibes on both sides."

As for how much they will be acquiring GMA-7 for, he said, "We have a price already. There is a range. It’s below P100 billion.”

For the merger to push through, both sides need to agree on the conditions; the government's approval is also needed. "To close, conditions precedent must be satisfied. There are conditions required on their side, on our side. After that, we have to give them money, and they will give us the shares. On the approval of the government, we don’t know how long that will take or if they will approve it."

Meanwhile, PEP.ph reports that, in an interview with the press on June 11, GMA-7 chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon said, "There is no definitive agreement reached between us. I’m not closing the door. One of these days he (MVP) might strike the right price."



(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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