ABS-CBN invests in TV5

·2 min read
ABS-CBN news chief Ging Reyes is seen in a TV screen, speaking in a news show, following the Philippine congress' vote against the broadcast network's franchise renewal, in ABS-CBN headquarters, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 10, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
ABS-CBN news chief Ging Reyes is seen in a TV screen, speaking in a news show, following the Philippine congress' vote against the broadcast network's franchise renewal, in ABS-CBN headquarters, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 10, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Media giants ABS-CBN and TV5 announced on Wednesday (August 10) the execution of an Investment Agreement allowing the former to buy 34.99% of the latter’s total voting and outstanding capital stock for P2.16 billion ($38.9 million).

This deal will subsequently decrease TV5 operator MediaQuest group’s claim to 64.79% of the stocks, maintaining its status as the network’s “controlling shareholder.” It is expected to be completed within the month.

A Convertible Note was also signed between the two networks that will allow ABS-CBN to buy more common shares eight years from now, limited to 49.92% of the total voting and outstanding capital stock of TV5.

The amount gained from this deal will help TV5 with “the enhancements of its content and programming and public service offerings.”

The networks highlighted the private sector’s urgency in supporting efficient and reliable public services, which TV5 can do by intensifying their coverage in remote areas. Since the shutdown of ABS-CBN, many remote areas found it difficult to access information, especially on typhoons.

Mediaquest Holdings chairman Manuel Pangilinan welcomed ABS-CBN’s investment on TV5, saying that the two companies “have always had these cherished values of providing top and quality programs in the service of the Filipino people and together we believe we can achieve this in greater measure and success.”

ABS-CBN CEO and President Carlo Katigbak, meanwhile, mentioned that the deal was aligned with the network’s goal “to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

In June, then President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in an oath-taking ceremony of newly-elected Davao City officials that he used his powers as president to attack ABS-CBN.

ABS-CBN has been airing some of its shows on TV5 and other networks after it was ordered by the government to shut down its free TV and radio station after its franchise expired in 2020.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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