NCC OKs merger of Taiwan Star and Vibo

18 Sep 2014

Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has now approved a merger between Vibo Telecom and new player Taiwan Star Cellular, the Taipei Times reports. In confirming it had given the nod for the deal to proceed, and noting that the transaction was in line with Article 12 of the country’s Telecommunications Act – which stipulates that the total direct shares held by foreigners may not exceed 49%, and the sum of direct and indirect shares held by foreigners may not exceed 60% – NCC spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng was cited as saying: ‘The direct funding from foreign investors would account for less than 1% of the total shares after the merger, whereas indirect investment would account for 47.119%, so the company has met the requirements stated in the Telecommunications Act.’

Once the merger is completed, it has been confirmed that Taiwan Star will cease to exist, with Vibo being the surviving company, and taking over the former’s 4G subscribers. However, with the combined company actually set to be rebranded as Taiwan Star, the decision to carry out the tie-up in the fashion was explained by Mr Yu, who said: ‘Vibo has a lot more subscribers than Taiwan Star, because the latter only began providing services this year. The arrangement is to ensure that a majority of existing subscribers will not be affected by the merger.’

Meanwhile, the NCC has also confirmed its approval of new 3G concession for Asia Pacific Telecom (APT), after the telco raised its capital and changed its legal representative; this new concession states that APT has capital of TWD38.8 billion (USD1.3 billion), while direct and indirect shares in the company are 5.31% and 12.76% respectively. However, a decision regarding the proposed merger of APT and another new player to the Taiwanese telecoms market, Ambit, has yet to be made, the Commission noted.