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Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 00:37
i-CABLE investors give rescue plan green light
By Jasmine Zhou
Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 00:37 By Jasmine Zhou

Hong Kong residents watch on Cable TV in a shopping centre in Hong Kong, 24 March 2003. (PETER PARKS / AFP)

Hong Kong pay television provider i-CABLE Communications will renew its license on Thursday as 89 percent of minority shareholders approved its rescue plan in a meeting on Monday after raising about HK$669 million from Forever Top.

The plan includes a five-for-three rights issue for existing shareholders after which Forever Top, owned by New World Development Chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun, becomes the largest shareholder of i-CABLE.

The capital raised in the plan will be used to renew its license and fund ongoing operations.

The current Pay TV license of i-CABLE expires on Wednesday. In March Wharf announced it would stop injecting capital into i-CABLE after existing commitments expired. Wharf plans to exit the Communications, Media and Entertainment sector, selling Wharf T&T for HK$9.5 billion.

i-CABLE was owned by Wharf, whose chairman is Hong Kong tycoon Stephen Ng Tin-hoi.

i-CABLE reported a HK$313 million loss for last year as subscriber and advertisement income shrank. The company has been in the red since 2007.

The board admitted in the annual report that net cash outflow was budgeted to continue this year as recurrent losses significantly weakened the liquidity position and increased dependence on external financing.

Ng, who is also i-CABLEchairman, said they didn’t plan to cut staff this year. However, he pointed out that about 300 staff had left the firm recently because of fears over the company’s future.

i-CABLE listed in 1999 at HK$10.39; its price has slumped since and it closed unchanged on the day at 58 HK cents on Monday, having risen as much as 12 percent to 65 cents in the afternoon session following the announcement.

Hong Kong pay television provider i-CABLE Communications will renew its license on Thursday as 89 percent of minority shareholders approved its rescue plan in a meeting on Monday after raising about HK$669 million from Forever Top.

The plan includes a five-for-three rights issue for existing shareholders after which Forever Top, owned by New World Development Chairman Henry Cheng Kar-shun, becomes the largest shareholder of i-CABLE.

The capital raised in the plan will be used to renew its license and fund ongoing operations.

The current Pay TV license of i-CABLE expires on Wednesday. In March Wharf announced it would stop injecting capital into i-CABLE after existing commitments expired. Wharf plans to exit the Communications, Media and Entertainment sector, selling Wharf T&T for HK$9.5 billion.

i-CABLE was owned by Wharf, whose chairman is Hong Kong tycoon Stephen Ng Tin-hoi.

i-CABLE reported a HK$313 million loss for last year as subscriber and advertisement income shrank. The company has been in the red since 2007.

The board admitted in the annual report that net cash outflow was budgeted to continue this year as recurrent losses significantly weakened the liquidity position and increased dependence on external financing.

Ng, who is also i-CABLEchairman, said they didn’t plan to cut staff this year. However, he pointed out that about 300 staff had left the firm recently because of fears over the company’s future.

i-CABLE listed in 1999 at HK$10.39; its price has slumped since and it closed unchanged on the day at 58 HK cents on Monday, having risen as much as 12 percent to 65 cents in the afternoon session following the announcement.


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