Move could have wide repercussions in region

Hong Kong media mogul Run Run Shaw has agreed to sell his controlling 26% stake in the territory’s leading broadcaster TVB for a reported $1.28 billion.

 

The 102-year-old Shaw, who is a legend in the Hong Kong biz, will sell his stake to a consortium led by the Charles Chan Kwok-keung, chairman of the ITC Corp. venture capital group. Consortium also includes Taiwanese entrepreneur Cher Wang of HTC Group (daughter of Taiwanese technology billionaire Wang Yung-ching) and global telco and media private equity firm Providence Equity Partners.

 

Shaw set up TVB in 1967 after an illustrious filmmaking career that started in Shanghai in the 1920s.

 

TVB accounted for more than 80% of Hong Kong’s free-to-air TV market by advertising sales in 2009, according to Media Asia data.

 

The Shaw Foundation will also sell a portion of its 6.23% shareholding in TVB to independent third parties.

 

“This deal is good news, as it shows how investors are taking a greater interest in the industry now,” said Jennifer Jao, director of the Taipei Film Commission.

 

It also signals closer regional cooperation among Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.The deal, which is expected to be completed on or before March 31, is also said to include a plot of real estate in the sought-after Clearwater Bay area of the city.

 

TVB shares fell 5.8% after the announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, but they are still up nearly 9% this month as suitors tussled for the stake.

 

Among those seeking to buy Shaw’s stake were Shanghai Media Group, PCCW chairman Richard Li and Henderson Land Development vice chairman Lee Ka-kit.

 

In 2008, Country Garden Holdings chairman Yang Guo Qiang attempted a leveraged buyout of TVB, but the deal collapsed when the global financial crisis hit.

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