PCCW has abandoned plans to sell a significant stake in Hong Kong’s former fixed line incumbent HKT in the wake of last week’s global stock market crash. After an emergency board meeting yesterday, PCCW said that the market downturn had ‘significantly impacted’ the offers received for a 45% stake in HKT, a newly created holding group for most of its core fixed line, broadband and television assets.
PCCW started the sale process in May and hired UBS to find a buyer in a deal, which was expected to raise up to USD2.5 billion. About half a dozen private equity groups including Bain, TPG, Providence, Macquarie and MBK were short-listed for the second round, and several tabled final bids ahead of a weekend deadline. Alex Arena, PCCW group managing director, said: ‘The board was encouraged by the interest shown. However, we strongly believe that the bids received were not sufficiently attractive for us to continue this process.’