Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Macquarie, TPG Join Bid for PCCW Assets; China Netcom's Position Key
June 30, 2006
Australia's Macquarie Bank and US-based TPG-Newbridge are currently in the running for the acquisition of the core telecommunications and media assets of Hong Kong's largest telecommunications operator PCCW. Both bidders have offered more than US$7 billion for PCCW, which is run by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li. Macquarie also offered a 50% share of the assets to China Netcom if its bid would be successful, as China Netcom is reluctant to see a change in PCCW's ownership structure. China Netcom currently holds a 20% stake in PCCW. TPG-Newbridge is understood to have made an offer to China Netcom similar to the one by Macquarie. Both parties are reported to be seeking Asian partners to strengthen their deals. In addition, a third consortium of Ashmore Investment, Spinnaker Capital, and Clearwater Capital is likely to join the bidding contest.