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GMA puts blame on Ang for botched buy-in talks

MANILA, Philippines - The majority shareholders of GMA Network Inc. broke their silence yesterday and blamed businessman Ramon S. Ang for the botched attempt to buy into the listed broadcast company, citing the additional demands as the “deal breaker.”

GMA vice president Ayahl Ari Augusto Chio said the Jimenez, Duavit, and Gozon families did not abruptly terminate the talks for the planned acquisition by Ang of a 30 percent stake in GMA.

Chio disclosed Ang kept on imposing additional demands on the planned acquisition even if the proposals made by him were already accepted last Feb. 27 and March 21.

“Ang continued to make new/additional proposals and/or make new requirements after the sellers had already accepted all of the proposals on March 21, 2015,” he told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Chio said negotiations between the majority shareholders of GMA and Ang lasted for more than one year.

According to him, the company was constrained to terminate the talks after Ang failed to finalize the transaction within a “reasonable time.”

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“There was no deadline given but decision should be made within a reasonable time,” Chio said.

However, Ang was quick to deny the allegations of GMA he was imposing additional demands. “That’s not true,” he said in a text message.

According to Ang, GMA was still sending revised drafts of transaction documents as of May 9.

Ang said he replied on the unresolved issues last May 18 but was surprised when GMA informed him last June 22 the talks would be terminated.

He added GMA sent another letter 5 p.m. of June 22 “stating their own views on the unresolved matters without saying they would no longer proceed with the transaction.”

“If that is not abrupt, I don’t know what is,” Ang said. The businessman who has reportedly made a P1 billion down payment is now consulting his lawyer as he demanded an explanation from GMA.

Both groups refused to elaborate on the “unresolved issues.”

Both Ang and Gozon confirmed in May last year they were talking of a possible acquisition of a stake in GMA. Shareholders of GMA entered into talks with Ang after negotiations with PLDT chaired, by Manuel V. Pangilinan, bogged down anew.

Exactly a year ago, Ang announced he was personally acquiring a stake in GMA and that the transaction involving the acquisition of at least 30 percent interest in the broadcast firm was a done deal.

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