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Hong Kong’s I-Cable Seeks $88 Million for Content and Restructuring

Hong Kong’s cable network provider i-Cable Communications has unveiled an $88 million (HK$692 million) share issue. It is intended to restructure the company and invest in new content.

The share issue is structured as a 1-for-1 rights issue, with new shares offered at HK$0.109, a 38% discount to the last stock trade on Friday. I-Cable shares sank to HK$0.126 on Monday. They fell a further 4.6% on Tuesday to HK$0.12.

The move is the first external fund-raising exercise since the loss-making company was taken over by Forever Top, a consortium led by the New World and Chow Tai Fook conglomerates, and provided with a $128 million (HK$1 billion) injection. Media investor John Zhao of Hony Communications is also part of the consortium.

Forever Top took a 43% stake in April 2017 after previous owner Wharf Holding refused to provide further liquidity to i-Cable. If the other shareholders do not back the plan, Forever Top’s stake would grow to some 72%.

I-Cable said that it had lost subscribers in past year, notably to OTT-providers. As a result, the HK$1 billion had been used differently to the originally envisaged plan.

The company says that $17.9 million (HK$140 million) of the rights issue proceeds will be used for capital expenditure. More than half, $44.6 million (HK$350 million,) will be spent on content and channels: $17.8 million (HK$139 million) on acquired channels: $12.8 million (HK$100 million) on movies drama series, and live entertainment content; and $11.4 million (HK$89 million) on internally-produced content.

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