PLDT buys Philippine TV station

Telecom operator acquires majority stake in No. 3 broadcaster

MANILA -- Mediaquest Holdings Inc., a company allied to Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., said on Wednesday it had acquired a 75% interest in ABC Development Corp, which runs the country's third-largest television channel.

It has also reached an agreement to acquire a 70% stake in Primedia Inc., which produces programs for television and marketing of air-time for $16 million. The stake is being sold by Malaysian company Media Prime Bhd.

The ABC 5 channel ranks third in the Philippines after ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. and GMA Network Inc.

"By investing in both ABC 5 and Primedia, Mediaquest expects to further enhance TV 5's programming, ratings and sales as well as improve the broadcast network's coverage and signal strength throughout the country," Mediaquest said in a statement.

The company did not mention the value of the stake purchase in ABC and Mediaquest officials were not immediately available for comment.

PLDT, the country's largest-listed firm, is owned by Hong Kong's First Pacific Holdings, Japan's NTT Communications and NTT DoCoMo. Mediaquest is wholly owned by the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund.