ABS-CBN to buy 35% stake in TV5 Network

·2 min read

MEDIA giant ABS-CBN Corp. has agreed to acquire 35 percent of free-to-air television company TV5 Network Inc., while selling stakes in its cable television service partly to fund the buyout.

ABS-CBN will buy shares in TV5 for P2.16 billion ($38.9 million), the companies said in a statement disclosed to the stock exchange Thursday. With the deal, the stake of media conglomerate MediaQuest Holdings Inc., owned by PLDT Inc.’s trust fund, in TV5 will be reduced to 64.8 percent.

ABS-CBN shares closed 5.1 percent higher Thursday, outpacing the Philippine Stock Exchange index’s 3.2 percent gain. PLDT rose 1.7 percent.

ABS-CBN will also invest in TV5 convertible notes worth P1.84 billion, allowing it to acquire additional shares that could boost its stake in the TV network to 49.9 percent after eight years, the statement said.

The transaction is expected to close this month.

“This partnership is consistent with the strategic intention of ABS-CBN to evolve into a storytelling company whose goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible,” ABS-CBN president and chief executive Carlo Katigbak said.

In a separate statement, PLDT announced that Cignal Cable Corp. will buy 39 percent of ABS-CBN unit Sky Cable Corp. for P2.86 billion.

Cignal Cable, a unit of MediaQuest, will also acquire exchangeable debt instruments and convertible notes, giving it an option to raise its stake in Sky Cable, the announcement said. Proceeds will partly be used to pay ABS-CBN’s investment in TV5.

It can be recalled that in 2020, ABS-CBN was ordered by the government to shut its free TV and radio stations after its franchise expired. It has since been airing some of its shows on TV5 and other networks.