Manuel Pangilinan, one of the Philippines' most powerful businessmen, is in talks to buy a second major television network as part of plans to build a media empire, he said in an interview aired on Friday.
Pangilinan, whose sprawling business portfolio includes the country's biggest telecommunications company, told ABS-CBN television he was in "very preliminary" stages of talks to buy the rival GMA network.
"We believe that there's a lot of synergies that can happen between a telco, which is a broad range of delivery platforms, and media, which is basically a content generator," Pangilinan said.
"The intent is to replicate what other media groups have done elsewhere in the world."
The 65-year-old is chairman of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), which through a subsidiary owns TV5, the third major television network in the Philippines after ABS-CBN and GMA.
The subsidiary also has minority stakes in at least two major Philippine newspapers.
Listed GMA Network Inc. is controlled by several Philippine families and is capitalised at 32.53 billion pesos ($764 million).
Its investor relations division declined to comment on Pangilinan's remarks.
Pangilinan also said he planned to invest his own money for a 5.0 percent stake in Rappler.com, a Manila-based Internet news startup.
Former investment banker Pangilinan is managing director and chief executive of Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Co., controlled by Indonesia's Salim family.
Apart from PLDT, First Pacific's Philippine investments include the country's largest miner, Philex Mining, its top power distributor, Manila Electric Company, and Maynilad, one of two Manila tap water providers.
Through First Pacific unit Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Pangilinan also runs most of the Philippines' toll roads as well as its largest hospital chain.