Hong Kong's TVB going for $1 billion as deal nears

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One of Asia's most iconic media companies, TVB, owned by Hong Kong's oldest media mogul, Run Run Shaw, is about to be bought for $1 billion.

Property developer Yeung Kwok-keung reportedly is close to piecing together a syndicated loan to seal a buyout of Television Broadcasts — most famous since Shaw founded it in 1967 as host of the annual "Miss Hong Kong Contest." It also has been used as a platform for the martial arts cinema mastered by Shaw Brothers Studios and as one of the few channels founded under British colonial rule allowed landing rights inside China.

Yeung's $1 billion loan is being coordinated by Citibank, GE Commercial Finance, ICBC (Asia), Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and Sumitomo Mitsui, leading Hong Kong debt industry newsletter Basis Point reported Monday.

Bank representatives declined comment on the status of the loan that Basis Point said would be divided into two tranches of $850 million and $150 million.

Earlier industry reports said that Yeung also will receive a $386 million loan from Hong Kong's Henderson Land Development chairman Lee Shau-Kee.

Shaw, 100, spends his days as a philanthropist. He will extend a seller's loan of delayed payment of $257 million to Yeung so he can buy a 75% stake in Shaw Brothers — TVB's largest shareholder with a 26% stake.

Over the years, rumors about TVB's eventual sale have come and gone, with Time Warner and News Corp. counted briefly as suitors. Reports said that Shaw was reluctant to sell TVB to foreign investors. (partialdiff)
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