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MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.

MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.

MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., incorporated in 1999, is one of the biggest media conglomerates in the Philippines that owns newspapers, radio and television stations, including cable or pay TV.

It is the parent company of TV5, the second leading television station as of the second quarter of 2023. Other media entities under its umbrella are the 92.3 True FM (Radyo5), the all-Filipino news channel One PH, and the website Philstar.com. Additionally, MediaQuest controls shares in the broadsheets BusinessWorld, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star.

Other media outlets majority-owned by MediaQuest are tabloids Pilipino Star Ngayon, The Freeman, Banat News, and Pang-Masa, under the PhilStar Media Group umbrella, and television news channel ONE News.

MediaQuest, in collaboration with TV5, added to its conglomerate when it launched the RPTV channel last Feb. 1, 2024, through a partnership with Nine Media Corporation. The channel, which airs sports, news, entertainment and public service programs, uses analog channel 9 which Nine Media Corporation’s CNN Philippines used until its shutdown on Jan. 31, 2024.

MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. is headed by Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan, who also chairs PLDT. The company is 99.99%-owned by Beneficial Trust Fund Holdings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the “Board of Trustees for the Account of Beneficial Trust Fund Created Pursuant to the Benefit Plan of PLDT Co.”

In his book “Colossal Deception: How Foreigners Control our Telecom Sector”, journalist Rigoberto D. Tiglao tracked the ultimate ownership of MediaQuest and its media subsidiaries to Indonesian business tycoon Anthoni Salim through his Hong Kong-based company First Pacific, which owns 25.57% common shares in PLDT.

Next in line to Salim is his trusted deputy, Pangilinan, as the managing director/chief executive officer of First Pacific, first founded in 1981. On its website, First Pacific claims to have 25.6% economic interest in the PLDT and 46.1% in Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, which are both chaired by Pangilinan.

Under Republic Act No. 11659, which was signed into law in March 2022, foreigners are now allowed to fully own select businesses in the Philippines that provide public service such as airlines, railways, and telecommunication companies like the PLDT. Meanwhile, media ownership remains strictly for Filipinos only.

MediaQuest started building the conglomerate in 2009 when it launched the pay television provider Cignal TV, then in 2010 when it bought stakes in TV5. In 2013, it acquired majority shares in BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation and Nation Broadcasting Corporation of the Philippines. The following year (2014), it bought shares in the broadsheet The Philippine Star. As of 2022, the company’s total assets are worth PhP26.608 billion (around US$468 million).

As of Dec. 31, 2022, MediaQuest’s declared revenue was PhP12,210,192,795 (around US$214,832,022), bulk of which was from subscription fees and airtime revenues.

Key facts

Mother Company

PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund (Board of Trustees for the Account of Beneficial Trust fund Created Pursuant to the Benefit Plan of PLDT Co.)

Business Form

Private

Legal Form

Stock Corporation

Business Sectors

E-sports management and development - Philippine Online Sports League, Inc. (14%)

Ownership

Individual Owner

Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan

Pangilinan is the concurrent chairman, president and chief executive officer of PLDT, which established the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund. He is the individual known to exercise control over the MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., although that does not happen through ownership of shares.

MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. was created using the pension funds for the employees of PLDT. It is being managed by the PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, also called the “Board of Trustees for the Account of Beneficial Trust Fund Created Pursuant to the Benefit Plan of PLDT Co.”, that handles the PhP16.291 billion (around US$286 million) pension plan assets of the telecommunication company as of 2022.

The trust fund’s Board of Trustees is composed of the following: a member of the PLDT board of directors, who is not a beneficiary of the Plan; a board member or a senior officer of PLDT, who is a beneficiary of the Plan; a senior member of the executive staff of PLDT; and two persons who are not executives nor employees of PLDT.

Aside from investments in MediaQuest, it bought all voting preferred stocks in PLDT worth PhP150 million (around US$2.639 million) through its subsidiary BTF Holdings Inc.

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Media Outlets
Other Media Outlets

Other Print Outlets

The Philippine Star (3.36% audience share)

Other TV Outlets

TV5 (1.30% audience share)

Other Radio Outlets

92.3 True FM (Radyo5)

Other Online Outlets

philstar.com (13.8% audience share)

Facts

Media Business

Sales, marketing, and advertising arm of TV5 and Cignal

Media5 Marketing Corporation (100%)

Holding company

Telemedia Business Ventures, Inc.

Program content developer

Studio5, Inc. (100%)

Radio operation

Nation Broadcasting Corporation of the
Philippines (51%)

Direct-to-home satellite television service provider

Cignal TV, Inc. (100%)

Cable television operator

Cignal Cable Corporation (99.9%)

Publishing

Pilipino Star Ngayon, Inc. (Philstar Ngayon) ( 80%)

Printing services

Pilipino Star Printing Co. Inc. (Philstar Printing) (80%)

Computer software development and publishing

Philstar Global Corporation (75%)

International content distributor

Pilipinas Global Network Limited (35.40%)

Business

Rental of movie and television equipment

Cinegear, Inc. (65.7%)

Multi-media productions

UXS, Inc. (30%)

Mixed media creation hub

Epik Studios Inc. (35%)

Magazine publishing

Stargate Media Corporation (40%)

Television channel operator

Sari-Sari Network, Inc. (50%)

E-sports management and development

Philippine Online Sports League, Inc. (14%)

General Information

Founding Year

1999

Affiliated Interests Founder

Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan

is the chairman of the board of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. He is the concurrent chairman, president and chief executive officer of PLDT.

Employees

39 (as of Dec. 22, 2022)

Contact

3rd floor, Launchpad Bldg, Sheridan corner Reliance Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City

Telephone No.: 02 8689 3100

mediaquest.com.ph

Tax/ ID Number

202-755-098-000

Financial Information

Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)

214,832,022 US$ / 12,210,192,795 PhP

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

Missing Data

Advertising (in % of total funding)

8,725,298.56077 US$ / 495,911,069 PhP

Management

Executive Board

Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan

is the chairman of the board of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.

Non-Executive Board

Ray C. Espinosa

is a board member of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. and the chairman of its print media holding subsidiary Hastings Holdings, Inc. He also serves as a director of Beneficial Trust Fund (BTF) Holdings, Inc. He is also an associate director and head of the communications bureau of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd. owned by Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim.

Supervisory Board

Missing Data

Other Influential People

Missing Data

Further Information

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Meta Data

Audience share is from Nielsen’s Philippine media landscape report for the second quarter of 2023.

The financial data are from the consolidated annual financial statement for 2022 of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.

According to the 2022 annual financial statement of MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., Studio5, Inc. has ceased commercial operations while Cinegear, Inc. have yet to commence commercial operations.

Conversion rate on Oct. 17, 2023: PhP56.836 per US$1.

Mother company: In the general information sheet of the MediaQuest, it stated that its parent company is the "Board of Trustees for the Account of Beneficial Trust fund Created Pursuant to the Benefit Plan of PLDT Co." Its short name, as cited by PLDT, is PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund, which the company established for the pension fund of its employees.

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