Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announced today (23 December) that it has given its consent to the proposed privatisation (delisting ) of former monopoly telco PCCW under the mergers and acquisitions provisions of the Telecommunications Ordinance. ‘The Telecommunications Authority (TA) has formed an opinion that the proposed privatisation would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in a telecommunications market in Hong Kong. Accordingly, the TA has given consent to the proposed privatisation,’ OFTA said. The TA’s consent in respect of the proposed ownership change is specific to the terms of the arrangement set out in an announcement from PCCW on 4 November, which stated that after the transaction, companies connected with PCCW chairman Richard Li would hold 66.67% of PCCW, and the China Netcom group would hold the remaining 33.33%. As at 4 November 2008, PCRD (controlled by Mr Li) and Netcom BVI held 22.54% and 19.84% respectively of the issued share capital of PCCW. Other companies controlled by Li together held a further 5.2%. The remaining 52.42% of PCCW’s share capital was held by the public. PCCW has set a date of 30 December for shareholders to vote on the takeover proposal.