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Mediaquest assumes control of BusinessWorld

Posted on September 18, 2013

MEDIAQUEST Holdings, Inc. has assumed control of BusinessWorld Publishing Corp. (BWPC), the owner of this newspaper, which has issued new shares as it moves to expand in a rapidly changing media industry.

The transaction is being done through Mediaquest unit Hastings Holdings, Inc., which -- following receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals -- will end up owning 76.67% of BWPC.

Hastings, whose stake will rise from 30%, will be infusing P100 million over the next 12 months in the company. The BusinessWorld Employee Retirement Fund -- the previous majority owner -- retains a 22.33% stake; the remaining 1% comprises individual shareholders.

In line with the capital infusion, the BWPC board yesterday approved the appointments of Ray C. Espinosa as chairman, and Edward Go and Lydia Echauz -- trustees of Mediaquest’s parent, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.’s Beneficial Trust Fund -- as new directors, replacing Barbara M. Locsin and Arnold E. Belleza.

The following officers were also appointed: Orlando B. Vea, acting president; Annabelle L. Chua, chief financial officer and treasurer; Esther G. Gacutan, corporate secretary; Anthony L. Cuaycong, chief operations officer; and Blanquita C. Mercado, deputy chief financial officer and vice-president.

Cesar E. A. Virata was retained as vice-chairman and Vergel O. Santos remains publisher and chairman of the editorial board. Mr. Belleza continues as executive editor and Ms. Locsin will be joining a board of advisers for the firm.

The acquisition adds to Mediaquest’s stable of assets, which includes wholly owned ABC Development Corp. (TV5), Nation Broadcasting Corp., Cignal Digital TV and stakes in The Philippine Star and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.