19 April 2019
A back-door listing could end ATV's long-running saga of financial woes. Photo: HKEJ
A back-door listing could end ATV's long-running saga of financial woes. Photo: HKEJ

Back-door listing by mainland investors could save ATV

Hao Wen Holdings Ltd. (08019.HK) may ride in as the white knight for debt-laden Asia Television Ltd., the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Thursday.

The free-to-air broadcaster is likely to be saved from bankruptcy by a back-door listing involving investors from mainland China buying a controlling stake, the report said.

In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Hao Wen, which is listed on the Growth Enterprise Market, the exchange’s secondary board, said it is in talks with a potential investor interested in buying equity in ATV.

Further capital will have to be raised if the deal goes through, the filing said.

Hao Wen is being backed by a mainland consortium that is considering acquiring a stake of at least 50 percent in ATV from the broadcaster’s largest shareholder, Wong Ben-koon, also known as Huang Bingjun, the China Securities Journal reported Wednesday, citing sources. 

An ATV spokesman said there have been no changes to its shareholding structure, and the Communications Authority said the broadcaster has not applied for any changes to its ownership.

Hao Wen, formerly known as Everpride Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd., now engages in environmentally friendly businesses.

All its existing directors are Hong Kong residents, which makes the firm eligible to keep the free-to-air TV license if the deal goes forward.

ECrent, a local internet firm that had reportedly been planning to buy Wong’s stake, said it will look further into the matter.

Translation by Vey Wong [Chinese version]

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