Star of Taiwan to take controlling stake in Vibo Telecom

8 Nov 2013

Vibo Telecom chairman Rock Hsu is said to have confirmed reports that Star of Taiwan will acquire a controlling stake in the Taiwanese mobile network operator, according to the China Post. It is believed that the process, under which Star of Taiwan will effectively gain managerial control of Vibo’s operations, will be completed by the end of this year, once the deal receives approval from the board of directors of both companies.

Vibo’s current parent companies are Kinpo and Compal, both of which are PC and electronics contract manufacturers, while Ting Hsin International Group is the backer of Star of Taiwan. With the latter having emerged from the state’s recent 4G auction with a 10MHz block of spectrum in the 900MHz band at a cost of TWD3.655 billion, the decision to grab control of Vibo may have in part been prompted by the opportunity to gain control of the cellco’s existing infrastructure assets of about 10,000 cellular signal towers and numerous retail service outlets. Indeed, industry observers have suggested that Star of Taiwan may also look to leverage frequencies held by Vibo in the 2100MHz block to introduce LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation technology. Moreover, the deal is widely expected to allow Star of Taiwan to speed up its efforts to commercialize its 4G services on the back of its spectrum win.

Ting Hsin meanwhile is also said to have stated that it has not ruled out seeking additional partners aside from Vibo. For its part, the local telecoms regulator, the National Communication Commission (NCC), has, however, stressed that any investment and acquisition deals among companies in the telecoms industry will also require its approval.

Taiwan, Taiwan Star (T STAR) (incl. Vibo Telecom), Taiwan Star Cellular (T STAR)