31 May 2012
Private equity group CVC Capital Partners has completed the purchase of high speed fibre operator Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) from City Telecom, as well as the group’s international direct dial (IDD) business, under a HKD5.1 billion (USD657 million) deal agreed last month. HKBN, Hong Kong’s second largest broadband access provider by subscribers, owns and operates a FTTx network passing approximately two million homes and 1,700 commercial buildings, offering internet with speeds of up to 1Gbps, VoIP telephony and IPTV, while City Telecom’s IDD service brands include CTI 1666 and IDD 0030. City Telecom operates three international telecoms switching systems in Hong Kong and has branches in Canada and Japan. HKBN had around 617,000 broadband subscribers at the end of March 2012, plus over 180,000 IPTV customers and nearly 500,000 VoIP-based telephony users. HKBN’s executive team will continue to operate the business, with around 3,000 employees, while all customer services will be unaffected by the transaction, according to CVC. The purchase is to be funded by a combination of equity and debt financing. Bank debt has been underwritten by JPMorgan and Standard Chartered Bank.