|Richard Li buys back CSL telco in HK$18.8 billion deal from Telstra
Australian telco Telstra announced the sale of its Hong Kong-based mobile business CSL to Richard Li Tzar-kai’s Hong Kong-listed investment trust HKT Limited (6823) for US$2.42 billion, or HK$18.86 billion. CSL was previously a PCCW (0008) business. It was sold to Telstra in 2001-2002.
Cayman Islands incorporated HKT, whose parent is PCCW, said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today the purchase will be funded by an 18-month commercial banking facility.
It said the CSL businesses, 1010, one2free, and New World Mobility, will be integrated into HKT, adding that it will strengthen HKT’s mobile business.
Telstra expects to gain A$2 billion (US$1.77 billion) for its 76 percent stake – a profit of A$600 million – with minority shareholder New World Development netting the rest.
Chief executive David Thodey said Telstra had enjoyed considerable success in Hong Kong, but the time was right to sell.
“CSL has been a strongly performing business, the compound annual revenue growth rate was 9.4 percent over the last three years and we have gained market share,'' he said in a statement.
“However, there are a number of dynamics in the Hong Kong mobiles market that means this is the right opportunity for Telstra to maximize our return on this successful asset.''
Thodey said Telstra would continue to look for opportunities in Asia. –AFP/The Standard