MVP Group bidding for SkyCable
The prized cable provider of the beleaguered Lopez Group is estimated at P15 billion to P18 billion, but the Manny V. Pangilinan Group is ready to make an aggressive offer to make sure that it bags the deal, sources said.
STAR/ File
MVP Group bidding for SkyCable
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The MVP Group’s telco giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is vying for Lopez-owned SkyCable and is hoping to close the deal after the ghost month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, industry sources told The STAR.

The prized cable provider of the beleaguered Lopez Group is estimated at P15 billion to P18 billion, but the MVP Group is ready to make an aggressive offer to make sure that it bags the deal, sources said.

If it succeeds, the MVP Group would be able to expand its cable business as it also owns Cignal TV, the other direct-to-home satellite television service provider and rival of SkyCable.

Aside from SkyCable and Cignal, the Villar Group also has a cable company. Its Prime Asset Ventures Inc. (PAVI)’s Streamtech Systems Technology Inc., a company led by Manuel Paolo Villar that took over the internet systems operations of Planet Cable Inc., offers cable TV services, internet and digital video broadcast.

Sources said the MVP Group is raising funds for the offer, which the group is targeting to firm up after Sept. 16 when this year’s Chinese ghost month ends. According to Chinese belief and tradition, no deals are supposedly sealed during the ghost month.

Furthermore, sources said Ayala conglomerate’s banking arm BPI, is willing to help the MVP Group fund the acquisition through a loan after the Ayala Group decided not to join the bidding war.

The business grapevine earlier speculated that Ayala would vie for MVP Group the cable network to complement its telco business via listed giant Globe Telecoms.

The Ayalas and the MVP Group are rivals in the telco industry and in the water distribution business among others.

Just recently, PLDT sold its prized buildings, Smart Towers along Ayala Avenue for roughly P5 billion to the Consunji’s family’s privately-owned DMC-Urban Developers Inc., which in turn plans to boost its recurring income.  It is not clear if this fund raising is related to the planned deal.

Another name that floated in the supposed bidding war for SkyCable is Converge ICT’s Dennis H. Uy, but Uy reportedly is not interested in the cable network provider under current circumstances.

Lopez-owned SkyCable is a Filipino telecommunications company founded in 1990 and based in Diliman, Quezon City. It offers broadband, cable and satellite television services under the SkyCable and SkyDirect brands. It has at least one million subscribers.

It is a subsidiary of the Lopezes’ media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corp. which was recently shut down after Congress moved not to renew its 25-year franchise to operate.

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