Talks with Ayala group about strategic partnership, not stake sale – ABS-CBN chairman

The chairman of ABS-CBN Corp on Thursday said it is not selling a portion of the broadcasting firm to the Ayala Group, but talks are ongoing for a strategic partnership.

In a briefing after the company’s special stockholders’ meeting, Eugenio Lopez III told reporters that the talks with Globe Telecom is part of the broadcasting firm’s discussions with strategic entities.

“At this time there’s nothing concrete to report with regards to any discussions we’re having,” Lopez said.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, ABS-CBN said, “as a leading content creator and provider we constantly talk with everyone who are interested to acquire or use any of the content that we create for any decent purpose as previously proven by our partnerships with the telcos, i.e., voting via SMS, in some of our reality programs/shows.”

Ernest Cu, Globe president and chief executive, had said the telco is exploring the possibility of offering more content to remain “relevant” to its subscribers.

Globe also offered to purchase the debts of Bayan Telecommunications Inc and unit Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc from their creditors to enable both companies to become more competitive.

The Lopezes own Bayantel and RCPI.

3Q profit up

ABS-CBN recorded a net income of P645.6 million in the third quarter, up from last year’s P580.25 million.

In the first nine months, the broadcasting firm earned P1.56 billion, down by 31 percent from last year’s P2.240 billion.

Removing the effects of the one-time P825 million gain from the sale of investments recognized in the first nine months of 2011, net income increased by 10 percent this year.

Revenues from advertising and consumer sales climbed 13 percent year-on-year to P24 billion. Advertising revenues contributed 60 percent of total consolidated revenues while consumer sales made up the balance of 40 percent.

Sky Cable’s consolidated revenues for the year from cable TV and broadband services grew 29 percent year-on-year, driven by a 29 percent growth in postpaid revenues and a 44 percent growth in broadband revenues.

The growth in revenue is partly due to the full-quarter effect of Sky’s acquisition of Destiny Cable. Without Destiny, Sky’s total revenues increased by 12 percent.

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