ABS-CBN to acquire a third of TV5, Cignal to buy into Sky Cable

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11)– Listed ABS-CBN Corp. announced Thursday that it will acquire more than a third of TV5 Network Inc., making it the single biggest minority shareholder in the Manny Pangilinan-led broadcasting company.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, ABS-CBN said the deal involves the acquisition of new common shares of TV5, representing 34.99% of total voting and outstanding capital stock, for ₱2.16 billion. MediaQuest Holdings, the media arm of the MVP Group, still has controlling stake at 64.79%.

ABS-CBN said both companies will execute a convertible note agreement, which involves conversion into 5.5 million more common shares of TV5 eight years from its issuance. By then, ABS-CBN would own nearly half or 49.92% of TV5.

“This transaction is clearly transformational for both companies and is envisaged to significantly enhance significantly TV5’s capability to deliver content and coverage to the Filipino public in the areas of entertainment, news, sports and public services,” said ABS-CBN of the deal, which is expected to be completed this August.

It adds the transaction is “consistent” with the national government’s policy of expanding the private sector’s role in supporting efficient and reliable public services, citing TV5’s nationwide network which will be used to increase coverage especially in remote places.

“In partnership with TV5, we look forward to reaching viewers both on owned platforms and through other broadcast partners, thereby enriching the Philippine creative industry. We hope the industry evolves from being highly competitive to increasingly collaborative, which benefits all stakeholders in the long run,” said Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN's president and chief executive officer.

Pangilinan, who chairs Mediaquest, also welcomed ABS-CBN’s entry and investment.

“Our 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,” said Pangilinan.

Infrawatch PH convenor Terry Ridon lauded the partnership between the two broadcast firms.

"This is a spectacular coup by ABS-CBN. They have been pushed to their knees in 2020, but they are back again to provide news and content through TV5," Ridon told CNN Philippines' The Final Word.

Cignal Cable invests in Sky Cable

Pangilinan is also making his entry into Sky Cable, with his Cignal Cable announcing the signing of a sale and purchase agreement with the Lopez-led company.

Cignal Cable will acquire 38.88% of Sky Cable's total issued and outstanding capital stock for ₱2.86 billion, an investment seen to benefit the latter's over 300,000 cable subscribers and nearly 350,000 broadband customers as of end-June.

The Pangilinan-led cable firm said the transaction will boost its public services offerings, with Sky Cable hosting the Knowledge Channel and Department of Education (DepEd) Channel.

ABS-CBN has been onboarding more of its programs on TV5’s Kapatid Network, as activities between both groups increase.

ABS-CBN went off-air in May 2020 after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease-and-desist order against it. It has operated without a franchise since then, relying on blocktime deals with TV5 and Zoe TV.

Shares of ABS-CBN ended at ₱11.98 apiece on Thursday, up 5.09% from yesterday's close.