PLDT is acquiring Sky Cable Broadband business
The sale and purchase agreement for the purchase of Sky Cable’s internet service assets was signed by PLDT, Sky Vision Corp., ABS-CBN Corp., and Lopez Inc. on Thursday, March 16, 2023.
Under the deal, PLDT would pay P4.90 per share to acquire all of Sky Cable’s issued and existing capital stock, which consists of 1.3 billion common shares. According to stock market documents made on March 16 by PLDT and Sky Cable’s biggest shareholder, ABS-CBN, the transaction also calls for the termination of Sky Cable’s paid TV and cable businesses.
While awaiting regulatory approvals, Sky Cable’s broadband and cable TV services would continue, according to ABS-CBN. However, Sky Cable stated that it is committed to working with all its cable TV subscribers to enable a transition to their chosen provider once the agreement is approved.
What would happen to ABS-CBN’s channels, including flagship news channel ANC, when the acquisition was completed was not made clear.
Sky Cable has been a target of PLDT’s interest before. Remember that in 2020, PLDT Chairman Manny Pangilinan attempted to acquire Sky Cable from the Lopezes, but later backed out due to concerns that antitrust authorities may raise monopolistic concerns.
PLDT owns Cignal TV, a company that offers subscription television services. Cignal TV tried to purchase 38.9% of Sky Cable for P2.86 billion in 2022. But political pressure led to the cancellation of both this offer and the historic agreement that was meant to combine TV5 and ABS-media CBN’s assets.
According to PLDT, acquiring Sky Cable’s broadband business will increase the range of services and products available to both PLDT and Sky Cable’s current broadband users.
The proposed transaction supports the government’s efforts to develop the country’s digital infrastructure and is in line with PLDT’s aim to close the digital gap by boosting broadband connection, according to PLDT.
The sale, as per ABS-CBN, is a “strategic decision” made by Sky Cable to retain its competitiveness.
ABS-CBN will use the money from the sale of the shares of ABS-CBN and the payment of Sky Vision’s debt to ABS-CBN to pay off and finance its retirement obligations. According to ABS-CBN, selling the company’s share in Sky will help free up resources to produce new content.