A consortium of investors led by Taiwanese multi-service operator Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) and Morgan Stanley’s private equity arm are reportedly close to finalising a deal worth USD2.3 billion to acquire Taiwan’s largest cable-television operator. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter, the consortium is negotiating with Asia-focused private equity firm MBK Partners LP to purchase China Network Systems (CNS). It has been noted that, should the deal move ahead it would mean a step towards consolidation in the Taiwanese telecoms market, allowing FET to bundle its mobile voice service offerings with CNS’ cable TV and broadband services. With the parties involved said to have signed a memorandum of understanding, it is understood that a final agreement could be forthcoming within the next few days.
CNS is reported to have around 1.3 million subscribers on its books, of which one million are said to be fully digital, while around 250,000 are signed up to broadband customers. The cable operator is said to have a dominant market share in the country’s capital, Taipei, as well as the southern city of Kaohsiung.