Date
16 December 2017
ATV is hoping for a best-case scenario in which a 'white knight' will buy out a major shareholder. Photo: HKEJ
ATV is hoping for a best-case scenario in which a 'white knight' will buy out a major shareholder. Photo: HKEJ

ATV staff to be paid half of November wages

Asia Television Ltd. (ATV) is paying its employees half of their November salary on Tuesday, with the remaining half in early January, according to a senior executive.

The broadcaster did not say when the December wages will be paid.

The partial payment comes to HK$6 million (US$773,413) to HK$7 million, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday, citing senior vice president Yip Ka-bo.

The money will come from accounts receivable but it’s not enough to sustain operations, some sources were quoted as saying.

ATV employees are only two days away from being able to walk off their posts under an automatic severance arrangement if the company fails to pay their November wages by Jan. 1.

They said they are frustrated and emotional about being paid only half of their November salaries.

A plan to shorten news coverage on New Year’s Day will go ahead in order to pressure the company to pay up, the employees were quoted as saying.

Yip urged ATV investors to inject funds into the company as soon as possible.

Also, major investor Wang Zheng is reportedly willing to divest his shareholding.

Sources said the company is hoping for a best-case scenario in which a “white knight” will buy the shares.

Casino magnate Lui Che-wo, chairman of K. Wah International Holdings Ltd. (SEHK: 0173), is said to be interested in an ATV stake, according to reports.

Last week, Yip reportedly held a meeting with Hong Kong Television Network Ltd. chairman Ricky Wong but it was unrelated to an investment.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Labor and Welfare Matthew Cheung denied any political considerations for ATV not being sued by the government for non-payment of wages.

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