It remains a mystery why GMA Network Inc.’s majority owners – Felipe Gozon, Menardo Jimenez, and Gilberto Duavit – have suddenly terminated it’s negotiations with businessman Ramon S. Ang for the sale of a 30 percent stake in the country’s number two media company.
GMA did not cite any reason why it pullled the plug on the buy-in deal which has been on the table for the last 12 months.
Even Ang, the San Miguel Corp. Chairman who is buying into GMA in his personal capacity, was blindsided by what the public perceived was a done deal.
A Politiko source said politics was one of the reasons for the GMA owners getting cold feet in taking in Ang as a partner, even in a minority role.
The source said that with the 2016 presidential elections shaping up to be a close fight, GMA’s owners were approached by an “aggressive” presidential bet to hold on to GMA until next year”s elections.
The source said that GMA could play a significant role on who would be the country’s next president while providing the GMA owners with a massive windfall in formal and informal income.
The source said the presidential bet was worried that with Ang on board, the network might be pressured to favor the candidate to be supported by the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Ang is identified with Nationalist People’s Coalition chairman emeritus Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr.
NPC is reportedly torn between supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe in 2016. Cojuangco’s son, former Pangasinan Rep. Mark Cojuangco, has already declared his support for Binay while other NPC senior leaders were leaning towards Poe, the daughter of San Miguel’s iconic pitch man, the late Fernando Poe Jr.
The source said television plays a dominant role in elections with candidates, specially for national positions, pouring close to 90 percent of their advertising budget to 30-second ads on prime time that cost P500,000 each.
The source said that the entry of Ang would complicate the network’s management as the GMA controlling owners might be in conflict with NPC’s choice.