Hong Kong Tycoon to Sell Stake in Top Chinese-Language TV Operator

20 May 2008

HONG KONG: Legendary centenarian Hong Kong business tycoon Sir Run Run Shaw, founder and chairman of the globe's leading Chinese language broadcaster Television Broadcasts, is negotiating to sell his holding in the company.

In all Shaw owns a controlling 32.23% stake in the firm – 6.23% of which is personally held, the remainder by his wholly-owned Shaw Holdings.

The successful bidder will gain control of one of the few foreign TV stations with rights to broadcast in mainland China. It is also the most popular broadcaster in southern China and holds the world's largest library of Cantonese content.

Moreover, TVB is also a major presence in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore and boasts a significant distribution and syndication business in overseas markets such as the US and Canada.

Approaching forty per cent of TVB's revenues in 2007 were earned beyond Hong Kong.

The delectable property has attracted the usual private equity suspects, among them Bain Capital and Blackstone.

And although his name has yet to be mentioned in this context, few would be surprised if Rupert Murdoch – whose News Corporation flag is already firmly embedded in Chinese soil – became a contender.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff