Equity fund buys out Taiwan cabler

Deal would be largest foreign buyout of a local cabler

TAIPEI — Asia-based private-equity fund MBK Partners and Taiwan cable operator China Network Systems are expected to close a $1.6 billion sale later this month to give MBK full control of the island’s largest cabler.

The deal, which would be the largest foreign buyout of a local cabler, concludes a round of activity in Taiwan’s dynamic cable market. When the ink dries on the CNS sale, all three of the island’s major cablers will be foreign-owned.

China Network is majority-owned by the Koos Group, which holds an 80% stake. With 1.1 million subscribers, China Network controls a 26% market share.

MBK was founded last year by entrepreneur Michael Kim, a former partner of U.S. buyout firm Carlyle Group, which purchased Taiwan’s second-largest cabler, Eastern Multimedia, earlier this year.

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