Carlyle could sell its stake in Taiwan broadcasting


Tue, Nov 26, 2013 - Page 13

Carlyle Group LP is preparing to sell its controlling stake in Eastern Broadcasting Co (東森電視), Taiwan’s biggest broadcaster, and is seeking as much as US$700 million, people familiar with the matter said.

The US private equity firm has contacted investment banks about finding buyers for its 67 percent stake in the cable TV company, said the people. The sale may draw interest from local Taiwanese media groups, two of the people said.

Eastern Media International Corp (東森國際), which owns 21 percent of Eastern Broadcasting, is interested in acquiring Carlyle’s stake, a source said.

It has an agreement with Carlyle giving it the right to make the first offer, according to the people.

Eastern Media, which rose as much as 5.7 percent today in Taipei trading, closed at its highest level in two-and-a-half years.

“A lot of investors could be interested in this,” said Vivek Couto, the Hong Kong-based executive director of industry consulting firm Media Partners Asia Ltd. “It’s a good play in Taiwan that you can grow.”

Carlyle is seeking to exit the last of its cable TV operations in the nation as broadcasters grapple with different ways to distribute content to consumers, who increasingly watch programs on smartphones and tablets. Carlyle’s stake may fetch between US$400 million and US$700 million, a source said.