PLDT, Inc. said Monday it was exploring opportunities in Sky Cable Corp., a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corp.
“PLDT regularly explores opportunities available to the group that may complement our overall business strategy. As such, PLDT is evaluating options with respect to SkyCable for possible opportunities,” PLDT said in a statement.
It added: “However, there is nothing definite nor disclosable at this time.”
PLDT issued the statement to clarify news reports that it is bidding for SkyCable.
In a separate statement, ABS-CBN said: “SkyCable has not solicited this bid to sell the company, nor has ABS-CBN Corp. made any decision with regard to a divestment of SkyCable.”
If the deal pushes through, the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan II) signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Sept. 11 exempts mergers and acquisitions from compulsory notification “with transaction value of less than P50 billion which are entered into within two years” from effectivity of the law.
The Philippine Competition Commission in a statement said the new law also suspends its “exercise of motu proprio review of these mergers and acquisitions for a period of one year.”
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued in July a cease-and-desist order against the direct broadcast satellite service of SkyCable.
The company’s legislative franchise had expired on May 4.
Last week, the NTC issued an order recalling all the frequencies assigned to ABS-CBN after the House of Representatives in July denied the network’s application for a legislative franchise.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin