MVP gets 51% of STAR
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 1, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan has expanded his investment in The Philippine STAR to a majority of 51 percent.

The Belmonte family will retain management and editorial control of The STAR.

Pangilinan said the company inked the share purchase agreement with the Belmonte family last Friday.

STAR president and chief executive officer Miguel G. Belmonte emphasized  that the stake in the daily owned by Pangilinan’s Hastings Holdings is now 51 percent and not 60.

Belmonte said the  interest of his family in the broadsheet has been reduced to 21 percent from 51 percent.

Pangilinan said the agreement covers the acquisition of an additional 40 percent stake in The STAR, published by PhilSTAR Daily Inc., to beef up its existing 20 percent.

The company, he said, made the initial payment yesterday.

He did not give additional details about the transaction, including the acquisition price as well as the terms of payment.

Hastings Holdings owns 20 percent of The STAR. The Pangilinan group also has a 12 percent stake in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The group was looking at acquiring an additional 20 percent stake in The STAR last year and another 20 percent this year. However, the transaction did not materialize.

Talks between the Pangilinan group and the Belmonte family reportedly started as early as 2010 for the acquisition of an 87.5 percent stake in The STAR for P4.8 billion.

Pangilinan’s group is infusing about P100 million to revitalize the operations of BusinessWorld Publishing Corp. where it raised its stake to 70 percent from the previous 30 percent.

Pangilinan’s MediaQuest, a media conglomerate owned by the Beneficial Trust Fund of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), also owns the Associated Broadcasting Co. (TV5), Nation Broadcasting Corp. (NBC), Cignal Digital TV (Cignal) and the Unitel Group.

In May 2012, the Pangilinan group announced that ePLDT was spending P6 billion to acquire Philippine Depository Receipts (PDRs) to be issued by Mediaquest, effectively giving the company a 40 percent interest in Cignal TV (formerly MediaScape).

Last March, PLDT invested P3.6 billion for a 40 percent interest in Mediaquest’s SatVentures and another P1.95 billion for a 100 percent economic interest in Hastings Holdings.

Last Sept. 27, about P6 billion worth of Cignal TV PDRs and P3.6 billion worth of SatVentures PDRs were issued, effectively raising ePLDT’s interest in Cignal TV to 64 percent.

The Pangilinan group’s investment in Cignal TV is consistent with its overall strategy of broadening its distribution platforms and at the same time increasing its ability to deliver multi-media content to customers.

ASSOCIATED BROADCASTING CO BELMONTE BENEFICIAL TRUST FUND OF THE PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO BUSINESSMAN MANUEL V CIGNAL CIGNAL DIGITAL DAILY INC GROUP HASTINGS HOLDINGS PANGILINAN
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