Daniel and Richard Tsai, the brothers who control Taiwan Mobile Company and Fubon Financial Holdings, have purchased Taiwanese cableco Kbro for TWD65 billion (USD2 billion), according to reports in the Economic Daily News. A USD1 billion deal to buy the cable company from Washington-based Carlyle was originally agreed in September 2009, only to fall apart when the Taipei City Government’s minority ownership of Taiwan Mobile was deemed to contravene laws preventing state ownership of media companies. The new deal paves the way for Taiwan Mobile to become the country’s largest cable TV provider, and go head to head with rival Chunghwa Telecom, which already offers a high-definition internet-based television service.
Under the terms of last year’s original deal, Carlyle was due to receive a 15.5% stake in Taiwan Mobile and TWD440 million in cash, with Taiwan Mobile also assuming TWD24 billion worth of debt. Carlyle, the world’s second-largest buyout firm, bought control of Eastern Multimedia – which included the cable TV unit that was subsequently renamed Kbro – for USD1.5 billion in 2006.