South China Morning Post (Holdings) raised the stakes in the bidding war for TVE (Holdings) late last night. Under an increased offer, SCMP is offering a cash alternative for the first time. Last month SCMP offered one SCMP share for every two shares in TVE. Last night SCMP raised its share swap offer to 11 SCMP shares for every 20 TVE shares. The cash alternative is $2.75 in cash for every TVE share. Robert Kuok, chairman of SCMP, owns 34.9 per cent of both companies. SCMP said the cash alternative was fully underwritten by ABN Amro HG Asia. In an earlier round of bidding, substantial shareholder Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) said it planned to reject the SCMP offer and launched its own cash offer of $2.55 a share for TVE. SCMP shares were suspended from trading yesterday. It closed on Wednesday at $5.20, down 20 cents on the day. TVE lifted 2.5 cents to $2.70 yesterday. On the basis of the last SCMP close, SCMP said the increased offer values each TVE share at $2.86, a premium of 12.2 per cent over the Shaw cash offer. SCMP said the cash alternative was 7.8 per cent higher than the Shaw cash offer. TVE shareholders also have the option of accepting a combination of shares and cash. SCMP said: 'The directors of SCMP believe that there are synergies between the businesses of TVE and SCMP to be realised and further synergies will evolve as the management of SCMP and TVE develop the business jointly following the successful close of the increased SCMP offer.' The closing date for the increased offer will be a day falling not less than 14 days after the despatch of the increased offer to shareholders, being a day not later than April 15. The offer will not be capable of becoming unconditional after 4 pm on Monday, April 29. The right to extend the offer is reserved, said the SCMP. Under the new offer, Kerry Holdings, on behalf of Kuok group, has opted to elect for the new shares to the extent necessary so as to maintain its shareholding in the SCMP below 35 per cent. This is a trigger point beyond which a general offer for the company has to be made under Hong Kong securities regulations. A special meeting of SCMP shareholders is planned on the increased offer and the cash alternative. During the week the SCMP revealed acceptances to the original offer had amounted to 34.95 per cent the issued shares of TVE. As the level of acceptances was not sufficient for the takeover to go through, it was allowed to lapse on March 20. After talks with the executive at the Securities and Futures Commission, permission was granted for the increased offer to go ahead last night. Earlier this month TVE announced a more than sevenfold increase in its full-year profits to $632.02 million to December 31, boosted by a $551.28 million exceptional gain. Turnover fell 3.6 per cent to $842.11 million. The exceptional gain came from the disposal of properties, with $546.7 million a result of September's sale of its property at 77 Broadcast Drive.