Taiwan's Far EasTone is jointly leading a consortium of investors seeking to buy the nation's largest cable television operator China Network Systems.
Far EasTone and Morgan Stanley's private equity division are nearing a deal worth $2.3 billion, the Wall Street Journalreported, citing sources. Several local investors are said to also be involved in the consortium.
Far EasTone is reportedly pursuing the acquisition to allow it to bundle its mobile services with cable and broadband in a triple-play offering.
China Network Systems has around 1.3 million cable TV subscribers in Taiwan, making it the dominant player in capital Taipei, as well as more than 250,000 broadband customers.
The company is majority owned by investment group MBK Partners, which has profited on the purchase of the company in 2007. But MBK Partners has tried and failed twice before to sell China Network Systems to wealthy Taiwanese investors.
Far EasTone arranged in March to return its 2G mobile license in order to secure more 4G bandwidth