Businessman Kenny Wee Ho dismissed rumors that the proposed sale of his free newspaper Metro Daily had run into problems, adding that he expects an agreement to be signed on Friday, hk01.com reports.
Wee had earlier revealed that three outfits – a Japanese media company, a Taiwanese telecommunications company and a Chinese securities firm – were interested in buying his news operations, with bids of HK$360 million to HK$400 million.
According to Wee, the proposed sale would include Metro Daily, financial magazine Metro Prosperity and lifestyle magazine Metropop.
Wee reportedly went to Japan on July 2 to meet prospective buyers. He told hk01.com that the sale price would be double the amount of his initial investment, said to be around HK$200 million.
Then news broke out on Thursday that the proposed sale might have stalled.
When approached by reporters on Thursday afternoon via WhatsApp, Wee replied: “Signing tomorrow.”
Several hours later he told reporters, “Although I would be sad to let go of Metro Daily, I’m excited about the new developments, and I believe the newspaper operations would be in good hands.”
Some Metro Daily staff said management had never informed them of any potential sale of the business, and they are worried if the deal falls through, they would be laid off.
As such, they said, they would rather the sale materialized, and hoped the new owner would look into issues such as understaffing.
Other Metro Daily employees said there is a tense atmosphere in the office, although everyone is working hard and there are no resignations so far.
Leung Kam-hung, editor-in-chief of Metro Daily, refused to comment.
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