Idinetalye ni GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon at ng iba pang Kapuso executives ang expansion na kasalukuyang ginagawa ng GMA-7.
Noong Hunyo, binuksan nila ang isang originating station sa Ilocos, samantalang ngayong Agosto ay naganap ang launching ng isa pa nilang originating station sa Bicol.
“These two stations alone cost us more than P200 million. The cost in Ilocos is not the same as Bicol… There is no question that we have the money to do that,” ani Atty. Gozon sa media briefing na naganap sa 16th floor boardroom ng GMA Network noong Agosto 22.
Ayon sa chief financial officer ng GMA-7, na si Mr. Felipe Yalong, nag-allocate sila ng budget na P160 million para sa Bicol project at P115 million para sa Ilocos project.
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Dumalo rin sa media briefing sina Mr. Gilberto Duavit Jr., president and COO; Rikki Escudero, vice president for regional TV; at Engineer Elvis Ancheta, vice president of the transmission regional engineering department.
THE NEGOTIATION. Sa kabilang banda, kinumpirma ni Atty. Gozon na ongoing pa rin ang negosasyon sa pagitan nila ng kampo ni Manny V. Pangilinan, chairman ng rival network na TV5.
Matutuloy ba ang pagbili ni Manny V. Pangilinan—o mas kilala bilang MVP—sa GMA-7?
“We honestly do not know,” sagot ni Atty. Gozon.
Paliwanag niya, “It can go either way because there are still many outstanding issues to be resolved.
"We are continuing to talk, but beyond that, I cannot say anything anymore.
"Whether we will reach an agreement or not, it is not for me alone to say.”
Kung matutuloy man ang naturang deal, paano ito makakaapekto sa market value ng Kapuso Network?
“You better ask the buyer since we would no longer be in control,” sagot ni Atty. Gozon.
Sa kasalukuyan, ang pamilya ng mga Gozon, Duavit, at Jimenez ang majority owners ng GMA-7.
Nilinaw ni Atty. Gozon na hindi sila ang nag-alok na ibenta ang kanilang shares sa kumpanya.
“We were not peddling our shares for sale," diin niya. “They came to us to buy our shares and the offer is to buy all our shares.
"Right now, what is on the table is 100 percent.
"If you’re asking if we are willing to be a minority, the answer is no.”
EXPANSION PLANS COULD DRIVE PRICE UPWARDS. Bakit patuloy ang pag-i-invest ng GMA Network sa pagpapalawak ng infrastructure nila kung may plano naman silang ibenta ang network?
Balik-tanong naman ni Atty. Gozon: “If you were in our place and you were not sure that the deal will push through, are you not going to do the same? Because every delay will adversely affect the company.
“Why make the future dependent on the buyer?
“We have to make the decision here, whether the deal pushes through or not.”
Kahit ang rival network nila ang makinabang sa pinalawak na coverage, wala naman daw problema dito.
“If the deal does push through, then the buyer will get the benefit.
“That makes the company more valuable.
"We don’t mind if the buyer benefits from what we’re doing."
Naniniwala rin si Atty. Gozon na ang desisyon nila na i-expand ang infrastructure ay magiging daan upang tumaas pa ang market value ng GMA Network.
“That’s why we will not be disappointed if the deal does not push through because the price of the company goes higher as time goes by.
“That’s why we are expanding!”
Dagdag niya, “You’re asking, ‘Why do something when you’re having this deal in the horizon?’
"The best answer to that: we’re not sure whether the deal will really push through or not.
"But that should not prevent us from improving the chances of the company to make more money and improve its ratings.”
Ayon naman kay GMA President Gilberto Duavit Jr., matagal nang naka-schedule ang expansion plans ng Kapuso Network.
“The expansion was decided last year,” aniya.
ABORTED TRANSACTION. Ikinuwento rin ni Atty. Gozon sa media na noong 2002 ay pumirma na sila ng Memorandum of Agreement upang ibenta ang GMA-7 sa MediaQuest.
Ang MediaQuest Holdings Inc. ay isang media conglomerate ng Beneficial Trust Fund ng Philippine Long Distance Company sa pamumuno pa rin ni MVP.
Sa recent media briefing, inamin ni Atty. Gozon, “There was an aborted transaction in the past.
"In fact, we had signed a Memorandum of Agreement. Everything was already there.
"It did not happen due to reasons not attributable to us.”
Dagdag pa ng Kapuso executive, “We were not yet number one then that’s why the price was so low.”
Sa tingin ba ni Atty. Gozon ay mangyayari muli ang pagpayag nila na ibenta ang kanilang shares?
“I will not say anything if that will happen again or not. Our attitude now is wait and see,” sagot niya.
Naniniwala ba si Atty. Gozon na matutuloy ang deal na ito ngayong taon?
“Kapag hindi ito natuloy this year, palagay ko hindi na matutuloy… at least within the foreseeable future.
"But I am not closing doors three to five years from now.”
Binanggit din ni Atty. Gozon na marami pa siyang ibang pinagkakaabalahan bukod sa pagpapatakbo ng GMA-7.
Mayroon siyang law office—ang Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion & Lucila Law Office—na sa kasalukuyan ay mina-manage ng kanyang partners.
Ano ang mangyayari sa mga empleyado ng GMA-7 kung sakaling matuloy ang takeover ni MVP sa Kapuso Network?
“Ray Espinosa, TV5 president and CEO, has been quoted as saying, ‘Dahil magagaling ang mga tao ng Channel 7, they can expect to stay.’
"That is my opinion: You do not change people who produce for you,” sagot ni Atty. Gozon.