Private equity firm Carlyle and telecoms company Taiwan Mobile are in talks to extend a June deadline for their stalled USD1 billion cable TV deal, a source with direct knowledge of the situation is quoted as saying. Carlyle’s plan to sell its stake in cable TV company Kbro for 15.5% of Taiwan Mobile has run afoul of a law in Taiwan prohibiting state ownership of media bodies. The city government of Taipei has an indirect interest in Taiwan Mobile via a stake in parent group Fubon Financial Holdings. Fubon’s controlling shareholder, the Tsai family, is Taiwan Mobile’s largest shareholder. Taiwan’s broadcast regulator, the National Communications Commission (NCC), had asked the firms in April to sort out the problem. ‘Both firms had worked very hard to communicate with the NCC … They are now in talks to extend the deadline,’ said the source. ‘Neither of them wants to drop the deal. It would be good for both if it could be closed eventually,’ said the source, requesting anonymity due to the matter’s sensitive nature.
Under the deal agreed last September, Taiwan Mobile would pay TWD32.8 billion (USD1 billion) and assume TWD24 billion of debt. The deal was to have closed by end of June.