Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Property tycoon to acquire Eastern Broadcasting Co

Staff writer, with CNA

An investment firm led by a Taiwanese property tycoon has agreed to buy Eastern Broadcasting Co (東森電視), one of the leading cable TV stations in Taiwan.

In a statement released on Thursday, Eastern Media International Corp (東森國際), which holds a 21.32 percent stake in the cable TV station, said it and other shareholders would sell their stake in Eastern Broadcasting for about NT$17 billion (US$563 million) to Mao Te International Investment Co (茂德國際投資), owned by property developer Chang Kao-shiang (張高祥).

US-based private equity fund Carlyle Group owns a 62 percent stake in Eastern Broadcasting, while minority shareholders own the remaining 16.68 percent.

Data compiled by the Department of Commerce shows that Chang established the investment firm in New Taipei City in August and that it has mainly invested in the property market and traded in building materials in Taiwan.

Chang is a low-profile property developer, but he owns assets worth about NT$100 billion, media reports said.

In recent years, Chang has also benefited from the sale of large-scale residential property projects in New Taipei City’s Sinjhung (新莊) and Banciao (板橋) districts, the reports said.

Eastern Media chairman Liao Shang-wen (廖尚文) said the sale is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Liao said the deal, which is expected to rake in about NT$3.06 billion in profit or earnings per share of about NT$4.4, would help the company make up its net losses of NT$129 million, or NT$0.19 per share, during the first half of the year.

The company is expected to report an additional NT$10 million in losses for the third quarter of the year.

Proceeds from the sale are expected to boost Eastern Media’s book value per share to more than NT$10 from NT$6.51 as of the end of June, and the company intends to issue dividends to shareholders for this year’s earnings, Liao said.

Eastern Media shares gained 10 percent to close at NT$10.1 in Taipei trading yesterday.

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