The youngest son of Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠) plans to fork out NT$24 billion (US$733 million) to secure a 60 percent stake in Taiwan's biggest cable TV operator China Network Systems Co (中嘉網路), according to a media report.
Showing his determination to branch out into Taiwan, Richard Li (
Macquarie Media Group, Newbridge Capital, Carlyle Group and Goldman Sachs are reportedly interested in bidding as well.
China Network currently has 1.1 million subscribers, with a 26.2 percent market share. The firm has planned to sell shares owned by Taiwan's Koos Group (
PCCW, however, denied the report yesterday, saying the company has never contacted China Network regarding the share purchase, according to the Central News Agency (CNA).
The company also refused to comment on whether the story related to a personal investment by the younger Li, the CNA said.
On July 10, Li sold a 22.66 percent stake in PCCW to Hong Kong financier Francis Leung (
A government official yesterday said there would be no problem for Hong Kong companies to invest in Taiwanese firms.
Emile Chang (張銘斌), deputy executive secretary of the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said Hong Kong investments in Taiwanese firms are deemed legal transactions according to the Provisions Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (港澳關係條例).
After the bidding concludes, the commission will examine the winning firm's shareholders to make sure that there is no Chinese capital behind them, he added.
Over the past year, the nation's cable TV sector has seen dramatic changes with foreign groups entering the market.
Sydney-based Macquarie Media, Australia's biggest commercial radio operator, agreed in December to buy Taiwan Broadband Communications (
Carlyle in late June received a green light from the Fair Trade Commission to buy a majority stake in Eastern Multimedia Co (