SFC appeals against PCCW decision

Telecom Asia Staff
07 Apr 2009

After a victory in Hong Kong\'s High Court on Monday, Richard Li\'s $2.2 billion privatisation of PCCW is once more on-hold.

The Hong Kong securities regulator last night filed an appeal against a court ruling approving the plan.

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal accepted the appeal from the SFC at 7pm yesterday.

Earlier, presiding judge Susan Kwan Shuk-hing had given the green light to the privatization scheme.

"On the evidence before me, I am satisfied that the scheme is one as to which an intelligent and honest man"&brkbar; and acting in respect of his interests might reasonably approve," she said, according to AFP.

Madam Justice Kwan said there was no evidence that the vote to privatize the carrier had been rigged. The SFC\'s argument was "merely suspicion", she said.

The SFC has been probing an alleged vote-rigging of the privatization vote, in which company stock had been distributed to staff at Fortis Insurance. Lawyers for Fortis say the stock was issued as a bonus.

Richard Li has proposed privatizing PCCW through his Singapore-listed company Pacific Century Regional Developments and with mainland China Netcom, now a subsidiary of China Unicom.

They have offered HK$4.50 for every share held by minority shareholders. Trading in PCCW stock, which has been suspended since April 1, is set to resume today. It last traded at HK$3.98.

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