MANILA – San Miguel Corp. (SMC) chief executive officer and GMA Network Inc. prospective buyer Ramon Ang filed syndicated estafa charges against GMA chief executive officer Felipe Gozon, his family members, and other executives of the broadcasting network.
Ang filed the complaint after a failed 34-percent stake acquisition into GMA. He then sought for the return of his P1-billion down payment, which he believed was misappropriated.
“The purchaser (Ang) did not agree that the down payment could be used for any other purpose, much less as security to answer for any claims for damages, which the Gozon group would be minded to make later on,” the complaint read.
“Assuming that the respondents have ‘causes of action’ or ‘claims for damages’ against the complainant, they cannot just take the law into their own hands and retain the complainant’s money to answer for such claims, for the simple reason that the money was not given to them for that purpose,” it continued.
Ang then demanded that his money be returned.
“Using the money for that different purpose is misappropriation or conversion. They have to immediately return the P1 billion to the buyer and then, if they want, file an action for damages against the buyer in the proper court,” the complaint read.
Furthermore, the negotiations included ‘tag-along rights’ or the right of a stockholder to participate in the management of the company, including the selling of shares.
“The term sheet was essentially an ‘agreement to agree,’ which imposes on the parties the obligation to negotiate in good faith during exclusivity period the terms of the definitive agreement (i.e., the transaction documentation) for the sale of the shares in GMA Network,” Ang said.
It can be recalled that it was around June last year when Ang and Gozon settled a deal, allowing the former to buy into GMA at P10.60 per share. The SMC boss was supposed to acquire more shares later on. But with the deal aborted, he only sought to recover his P1-billion initial payment instead.
Aside from Gozon, his kin Felipe Gozon Jr., Ismael Augusto Gozon and Anna Teresa Gozon-Abrogar and other GMA executives and officers Florencia Gozon-Tarriela, Edgar Tarriela, Jaime Javier-Gana, Ma. Erlinda Gana, Belinda Madrid and Tricia Valderrama were also included in the charges.
GMA president Menardo Jimenez and GMA chief operating officer Gilberto Duavit Jr., on the other hand, were excluded from the complaint after stating that they will return their portion of the P1 billion.
The Gozon group, for their part, has not yet released any statement.