Future in Doubt for Hong Kong’s i-Cable

The future of Hong Kong pay TV provider  i-CABLE Communications Limited is under a cloud following an announcement by The Wharf (Holdings) Limited, the controlling shareholder of i-Cable, that it would not be providing additional funding to the company.

Wharf’s board of directors has resolved:

  • not to provide any further funding commitments to any of the Company and its subsidiaries (“i-CABLE Group”) for its business operations, other than the current funding commitments (including the existing facility by Wharf Finance Limited of up to HK$400 million (USD$51.53 million);
  • not to renew any of the current funding commitments when they expire; and
  • Wharf has no intention to increase its shareholding interest in the Company.

The Wharf Board will consult with its auditors on what impact the announcement will have on its own preliminary 2016 results, as well as engage professional external advice to explore alternative sources of funding and/or advise on any business reorganisation and the continuance, directions and/or discontinuance of i-Cable’s business operations. The Wharf Board has set up an executive committee (comprising Mr. Stephen T. H. Ng, Mr. William J. H. Kwan and Mr. Paul Y. C. Tsui) to work closely with the professional external adviser for execution of plans relating to the future business direction of the i-CABLE Group. 

Wharf has also informed i-CABLE that no agreement in respect of the disposal of interests in i-CABLE has been entered into by Wharf and that it has Wharf has terminated all discussions in relation to any disposal of interests in i-CABLE. The Wharf Board says it is not aware of any possible transaction which may result in an offer being made under Hong Kong’s Takeovers Code in respect of the securities of i-CABLE. 

At the request of i-Cable, trading in its Shares on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited were halted for 24 hours pending the publication of the announcements.

The domestic pay television programme service licence issued to Hong Kong Cable Television Limited, the wholly-owned subsidiary of  i-CABLE Communications Limited, is expiring on 31 May 2017. On 13 December 2016, the Chief Executive-in-Council approved HKC’s application for renewal of its Pay TV Licence for a period of 12 years from 1 June 2017. On 3 March 2017, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development (SCED) requested HKC to return signed copies of the renewed Pay TV Licence by 15 March 2017. In light of the Wharf announcement, HKC requested SCED for an extension of the deadline. This has been granted until 26 April 2017.

Visit www.i-cablecomm.com 

 


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