Taiwan Mobile failed to finalize its proposed $1 billion acquisition of Taiwan cable TV outfit kbro by yesterday’s deadline.
The deal, announced last September, fell over because of ownership restrictions.
Taiwan’s Cable Television Act forbids the government from investing in media companies.
But the Taipei City Government owns a 15% stake in Fubon Financial Holding, the parent company of Taiwan Mobile.
Sources close to the situation told telecomasia.netthat Taiwan Mobile and US private equity firm Carlyle Group, the main drivers of the deal, were not aware of the holding until after the merger was announced.
Under the cash-and-stock deal, Taiwan Mobile agreed to buy Carlyle’s 32% stake in kbro for NT$32.8 billion ($1.02b) in a cash. Carlyle was also to emerge with a 15.5% stake in Taiwan Mobile.
The merger would have made Taiwan Mobile the island’s largest pay TV provider, with 1.5 million subs, or 32% of the market.
A Taiwan Mobile spokesperson toldTaipei Times that Taiwan Mobile and Carlyle were in discussions “about new [deal] terms, including price.”
To avoid regulatory blocks, Taiwan Mobile could spin off its cable TV arm and buy kbro.