According to local newspaper The Standard, PCCW Chairman Richard Li’s attempt to take the company private has finally ended. Li’s holding company Pacific Century Regional Developments announced yesterday that it was dropping a plan to ask the Court of Final Appear to hear its case, saying that ‘the reality of many further months of distraction needs to be measured against the desire to focus on other business opportunities’. Hong Kong’s High Court initially approved a HKD16 billion (USD2.06 billion) privatisation of PCCW earlier in the year, but this was subsequently blocked after claims that a shareholder vote was rigged.
In separate but related news, Telkom South Africa is rumoured to be in discussions with PCCW about a possible deal between the two companies. If successful, either an exchange of shares may take place or a co-operation agreement similar to that between Telkom and AT&T may be initiated.