Tue, Oct 16, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Chinatrust stays mum on Next Media

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) yesterday declined to comment on reports that Chinatrust Charity Foundation chairman (中信慈善基金) Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒) has offered to buy the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Sharp Daily and Next Magazine.

Jeffrey Koo Jr is the eldest son of Chinatrust founder and chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松).

Local media yesterday reported that Jeffrey Koo Jr offered to buy the publications for NT$17.9 billion (US$608 million), without citing sources, while CTS News Channel yesterday said he offered to buy the Apple Daily, Next Magazine and Next TV (壹電視) for NT$17.5 billion.

Next TV is a newcomer to the Internet TV industry. The rumored sale of Next TV would mean the end of a deal announced earlier this month.

On Oct. 1, Next Media Group announced that it would sell Next TV to ERA Communications Inc (年代集團) after the Hong Kong-based group had signed a memorandum of understanding with ERA chairman Lien Tai-sheng (練台生). Next Media Group executive director Cassian Cheung (張嘉聲) said in a written statement that the group hoped the transaction would take effect on Jan. 1.

“The conglomerate is not aware of the report,” a Chinatrust Financial company official, who preferred not to be named, said by telephone. “Legally, the company is not allowed to acquire non-financial institutions.”

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