The Lopez family will reportedly hold a closed bidding for the sale of Sky Cable, including its broadband and direct-to-home satellite businesses, in the coming days or weeks.
Babblers told us that at least three bilyonaryos, who see a great fit with their respective businesses, have expressed interest in getting Sky Cable off the Lopees’ hands:
* Dennis Anthony Uy, a Chinese immigrant who has settled in Pampanga, is the CEO of broadband operator Converge ICT Solutions which is gearing up for a $726 million initial public offering in October;
* Davao-based Dennis Uy, a campaign financier of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is the CEO and majority owner of Dito Telecommunity which is eyeing to break the telecom duopoly; and
* Ayala group which owns the country’s biggest mobile phone company, Globe Telecom.
Based on its latest financial report, Sky Cable reported an P18.5 million loss on P7.057 billion revenues in the first nine months of 2019. This is an improvement from the P173 million loss on P6.54 billion revenues it posted during the same period in 2018.
Sky Cable has P5.546 billion in loans as of September 2019, or 20 percent of ABS-CBN’s P27 billion debt.
Sky Cable has 500,000 subscribers for cable, 300,000 for broadband, and 1.5 million for DTH satellite (SKYdirect) which was ordered stopped by the National Telecommunications Commission for lack of franchise.
It used to be the biggest cable firm in the country until it was eclipsed by Cignal which has 2.2 million subscribers.
The Lopezes own 60 percent of Sky Vision, the holding firm of Sky Cable with the balance held by Sampaquita Communications PTE LTD.
Its subsidiaries include Bisaya Cable; Bright Moon Cable; Cavite Cable; Cepsil Consultancy and Management; Davao Cableworld; HM Cable Networks; Hotel Interactive Systems; Isla Cable TV; Moonsat Cable; Pilipino Cable; Satellite Cable TV; Sun Cable Systems Davao; Sunvision Cable; Tarlac Cable; Telemondial Holdings; JMY Advantage; Cebu Cable; Suburban Cable; Pacific CATV; First Ilocandia CATV; Mactan CATV; Discovery Mactan Cable; and Home-Lipa Cable.
Since its franchise expired on May 4 and its application for renewal was rejected on July 10, ABS-CBN has announced drastic measures such as laying off workers, discontinuing programs, demanding pay cuts from top talents and closing down businesses (Kidszania) to survive until it gets a new franchise.