Date
24 November 2017
HKTV boss Ricky Wong (L) is reported to be buying controlling stake in in ATV from major investors including Wong Ching (R). Photo: HKEJ
HKTV boss Ricky Wong (L) is reported to be buying controlling stake in in ATV from major investors including Wong Ching (R). Photo: HKEJ

HKTV’s Ricky Wong to buy ATV controlling stake: report

Major shareholders of ATV, the financially troubled Hong Kong television broadcaster, are said to have agreed to sell their stakes to HKTV (01137.HK) chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay.

Wong Ben Koon and Wong Ching have notified ATV’s management that they accepted an offer from Ricky Wong to buy controlling stake in the free-to-air broadcaster, according to an evening news bulletin on ATV.

Under the deal, Wong Ben Koon and Wong Ching will take “haircuts” on most of the debts that are owed by ATV to the duo, the report suggested.

The report did not disclose more details about the transaction, which will require approval from the court and its appointed administer (Deloitte), as well as Hong Kong’s Communications Authority.

Last week, in an interview with Caixin, a China financial portal, Wong Ching said two potential buyers had walked away. He did not disclose the identities of the parties but said the list includes a family which used to run ATV at one time. 

The family is said to have offered to buy 90 percent of ATV for HK$200 million while forgoing HK$1.6 billion in debt.

The second buyer, representing a mainland tycoon, is said to have put forward a HK$300 million offer — HK$200 million in assumed debt and HK$100 million for the equity. 

Wong had described the offers as “totally unworkable”.

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RC

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