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Asia Pacific Telecom denies buyout speculation

TAIPEI--Asia Pacific Telecom Co. (亞太寬頻) denied yesterday a local media report about an acquisition by the Ting Hsin (頂新) International Group, saying that the buyout speculation is totally unfounded.

Shares of Asia Pacific rose sharply soon after the local bourse opened due to the buyout speculation, dealers said.

Although the telecom operator released the disclaimer during the trading session, momentum of the stock continued until the end of the trading session, ending up 6.14 percent to close at NT$15.55 (US$0.51), with 58.99 million shares changing hands.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange ended up 0.95 percent at 8,510.87.

Asia Pacific Telecom and Ting Hsin's subsidiary, Taiwan Star Cellular Corp. (台灣之星), are among the six companies to have won licenses in an auction held in October to provide 4G telecom services in the local market.

The local media said Taiwan Star is scheduled to launch its 4G services in the third quarter of this year, but the bandwidth it secured in the auction will be used by Asia Pacific Telecom until 2017.

The report said that only through an acquisition of Asia Pacific Telecom will Taiwan Star be able to quickly get its operations started.

The report added that Taiwan Star and Asia Pacific Telecom have been entering a due diligence stage and are likely to announce that Taiwan Star will make a tender offer to acquire Asia Pacific Telecom shares.

Asia Pacific Telecom said that although its major shareholder, Eastern Media International Corp. (東森媒體國際), has said that it will dispose of its stake in the telecom operator if a suitor offers a purchase price of more than NT$19 for every Asia Pacific Telecom share, the decision has nothing to do with Ting Hsin.

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