CA Grants Formal Approval for Forever Top’s Shareholding in i-CABLE
The Communications Authority (“CA”), having reviewed the latest submissions by Hong Kong Cable Television Limited (“HKCTV”) and Fantastic Television Limited (“Fantastic TV”) in relation to their applications for proposed changes in their shareholding structures (“the Applications”), granted a formal approval for Forever Top (Asia) Limited (“Forever Top”) to hold approximately 43.22 percent of the voting shares in i-CABLE Communications Limited (“i-CABLE”) and for other parties to hold the remaining 56.78 percent of the voting shares in i-CABLE with effect from 15 September 2017, upon completion of the issue by i-CABLE of new shares to its shareholders by way of an open offer (“Open Offer”) and the conversion of a loan facility provided by The Wharf (Holdings) Limited (“Wharf”) to i-CABLE to new shares to be issued by i-CABLE to Wharf (“Loan Capitalisation”). Both the Open Offer and Loan Capitalisation are triggered by the equity injection plan into i-CABLE, the major shareholder of HKCTV and Fantastic TV.
As announced in the press release issued by the CA on 20 July 2017, taking into account the exceptional circumstances of the proposed transactions and striving to be as facilitating as possible as regards the equity injection plan into i-CABLE, the CA decided to adopt a pragmatic approach for handling, in two stages, the Applications of HKCTV and Fantastic TV.
In stage one of its assessment of the Applications in July 2017, the CA granted an approval-in-principle for Forever Top to hold between approximately 39.89 percent and 54.02 percent of the voting shares in i-CABLE upon completion of the Open Offer and the Loan Capitalisation before the issue of offer shares. Now in stage two of the CA’s assessment of the Applications, having carefully reviewed all the submissions of HKCTV and Fantastic TV, including but not limited to the results of the Open Offer and the Loan Capitalisation as well as deeds of undertakings and statutory declarations provided by the two licensees confirming, among others, their compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements and that they and other relevant parties had submitted to the CA all information and documents which were relevant to the CA’s assessment of the Applications, the CA granted formal approvals for the Applications.
In granting the formal approvals, the CA is satisfied that HKCTV and Fantastic TV will continue to comply with the relevant regulatory requirements under the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap. 562) and the concerned licences and will be able to honour the investment and programming commitments they have made under their respective licences upon completion of the shareholding changes.
The CA’s formal approvals of the Applications are subject to inter alia the condition that HKCTV and Fantastic TV shall be bound by all statements, representations, assurances and undertakings made in the Applications.
In this connection, Forever Top has advised the CA that it would withdraw the free TV licence application it submitted in April 2015, when it becomes the major shareholder of i-CABLE upon completion of the shareholding changes.
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