By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

ABS-CBN CORP. said it is open to a partnership with Cignal TV, Inc. for the inclusion of TeleRadyo, Cinema One, and ANC in its channel lineup.

“Yes, we are open to it. We are open to any partnership that helps grow the audience of any of our channels,” ABS-CBN President and Chief Executive Officer Carlo L. Katigbak said at a special stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday, when asked by a stockholder on the matter.

ABS-CBN stockholders also approved the company’s stock purchase and stock grant plans for its employees and artists.

The media company has two stock purchase plans.

Plan 1 will apply to all regular employees who agreed to a pay reduction from September last year until February 2021, while Plan 2 will be offered to all employees of ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries. “Those who will participate will pay their subscription until December 2021,” Mr. Katigbak said.

Meanwhile, the company’s stock grant plans will be given to employees who were promoted anytime between September 2020 to December 2021, and who did not receive any salary adjustment for the said period.

“There will be multiple award dates depending on the time of promotion,” Mr. Katigbak said.

“In addition to stockholders’ approval, the ABS-CBN stock purchase plans and stock grant plans are still subject to the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission,” he added.

The shares under the plans are also subject for listing with the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Asked how the stock grant plans would benefit the company’s minority shareholders, ABS-CBN Chairman Martin L. Lopez said: “The ability to retain employees and continue to benefit them will benefit all shareholders, including the minority shareholders.”

“This is also a recognition for our employees who agreed to take a voluntary pay cut to help the company during this challenging time,” he added.

The former broadcast giant has partnered with Zoe Broadcasting Network, Inc. to show several of its programs on the A2Z channel.

ABS-CBN has also partnered with TV5 for its variety show ASAP Natin ‘To and the FPJ: Da King movie block.

Cignal TV also carries some ABS-CBN channels, such as Kapamilya Channel, Jeepney, Cinemo, and Knowledge Channel, through its pay TV service.

ABS-CBN shares closed 2.08% higher at 12.76 apiece on Tuesday.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., that owns and operates TV5 and CignalTV has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.