Carlyle Group received an expression of interest for its stake in a Taiwan cable TV firm, Reuters reported. Two separate sources said Carlyle is not likely to sell what is a profitable.Taiwan’s Eastern Media International is interested in picking up the Washington, DC-based shop’s estimated 62 percent stake in ETTV, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
* Another shareholder expresses interest-source
* Carlyle “happy” with stake, not seen selling-other source
* Any sale would be Carlyle’s second Taiwan TV exit
* Stake reportedly worth $250 million
(Reuters) – Carlyle Group has received an expression of interest for its stake in a Taiwan cable TV firm, but the U.S. private equity firm is not likely to sell what is a profitable asset, two separate sources said on Friday.
Taiwan’s Eastern Media International has told Carlyle of its interest in the around 62 percent stake in the cable firm, ETTV, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The person did not elaborate on whether any formal talks had taken place.
A separate source, who also declined to be identified, said, however, that Carlyle was “happy with the holding”, which was profitable, and would not be interested in a sale.
Carlyle declined to comment. Eastern Media could not immediately be reached for comment.
Eastern’s shares were up 0.55 percent at T$7.30 at 0351 GMT, off an earlier high of T$7.37, in a broader market down 0.5 percent.
Eastern Media is ETTV’s second-largest shareholder with a 21.3 percent stake. Taiwan’s Economic Daily newspaper, citing market talk, said the Carlyle stake may be worth T$7.5 billion ($250 million).
Any sale would mark Carlyle’s second exit from Taiwan’s cable TV market after it completed late last year the sale of its Kbro cable TV unit to a local investor for $1.2 billion after a year-long sale process marked by regulatory holdups.
The company recently sold a $1.8 billion stake in China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd .
Another Taiwanese cable operation, China Network Systems, is being sold by private equity firm MBK Partners. The buyer, Want Want China Holdings , told Reuters in November that it would submit its plan to regulators in December.
Kbro and CNS hold over half of the Taiwanese cable TV market, with a combined total of around 2.2 million subscribers. The third-largest player is TBC, controlled by Macquarie Group .
Taiwan’s cable market offers one of the highest profit margins in the Asia-Pacific region. Cable penetration on the island of 23 million people stands at above 80 percent.
(Reporting by Jonathan Standing and Lin Miaojung; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)