Jun 152013

MANILA, Philippines – MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., the media arm of telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has increased its stake to take control of business newspaper, BusinessWorld.

PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s stockholders meeting late Friday that its acquisition of more shares in BusinessWorld is a done deal.

He said that in a meeting held last week, BusinessWorld’s stockholders approved the increase the firm’s capital.

“The details are being worked out as to the amount of new money that we will inject to BusinessWorld,” he said.

“We would certainly be north of 50 percent, after it is accomplished,” he said further.

MediaQuest holds a 30 percent stake in BusinessWorld.

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It likewise has a 20 percent interest in The Philippine STAR and an 18 percent stake in Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Established in the 1990s, MediaQuest is owned by the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT.

It owns media establishments such as Associated Broadcasting Co. (TV5), Nation Broadcasting Corp. and Cignal Digital TV.

In a related development, PLDT corporate secretary Lourdes Rausa-Chan said in a disclosure to the local bourse, the firm’s board of directors has approved the declaration of a cash dividend of P2.438 million on all outstanding shares of voting preferred stock of the company for the quarter ending July 15.

The payment date is on July 15.

“The cash dividend was declared out of the company’s audited unrestricted retained earnings as at December 31, 2012, which are sufficient to cover the total amount of dividend declared,” she said.

Pangilinan said the company is on track to achieve the P38.3 billion core net income guidance this year to be supported by broadband data as well as home business services like wireless DSL (digital subscriber line), Telpad and Cignal TV.

Last year, the firm’s core net income reached P37.3 billion.

In the same year, PLDT’s net income was at P35.5 billion.

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