PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai said yesterday he has no plans to sell his stake in the company whose parent is the target of a privatisation proposal by private equity fund Newbridge Capital. Newbridge Capital and a group of associates from its founder Texas Pacific Group last month announced a $1 billion buyout of Pacific Century Regional Development (PCRD) minority shareholders who hold 25 per cent of the firm at S$0.27 ($1.29) per share. PCRD is a Singapore-listed investment holding company which has a 23 per cent stake in PCCW and 46.9 per cent of Pacific Century Insurance Holdings (PCI). The market had speculated the deal could pave the way for Mr Li to end his investment in PCCW after it acquired Hongkong Telecom in 2000. 'I have no intention to quit the investment in PCCW, and in fact it is my idea to introduce Texas Pacific to make the offer for all public shareholders of PCRD,' Mr Li said yesterday after visiting his mother's tomb in Chai Wan. Once the deal goes through - likely within five months - Mr Li will still hold a 75 per cent stake in PCRD. The deal would make US-based Newbridge Capital the third largest shareholder of PCCW with a stake of 5.7 per cent. Mr Li holds 20.85 per cent and China Netcom Group 20 per cent. Mr Li said he had long intended to reinforce the corporate governance and management capability of PCCW and PCI. 'I am not allowed to do the deal [sell shares to Texas Pacific and Newbridge Capital] by myself. Several regulatory hurdles bar me from doing this. The privatisation scheme is another option to let Texas Pacific participate in both companies' operations,' Mr Li said He added the transaction was unrelated to rumours that PCCW vice-chairman and managing director Jack So Chak-kwong may not renew his three-year contract when it expires in mid-year. 'There won't be a great change in the management of both companies after the transaction. I have confidence in our existing management,' Mr Li said, adding that the experience of Texas Pacific and Newbridge Capital should solidify the company operations. Mr Li made no comment on whether Newbridge would send management personnel to PCCW or PCI. Mr Li also expressed regret over an accounting problem disclosed at PCI last month in which profit for the first three quarters of last year was overstated by 13 times; net income was revised to $8.01 million from $104.97 million. 'I believe the management of PCI will take responsibility on the issue, so we need to improve ourselves,' said Mr Li, who does not hold a post in the company, but is a 47.04 per cent stakeholder. Meanwhile, Mr Li's plan to take over Hong Kong's oldest financial newspaper Hong Kong Economic Journal was on hold while awaiting a response from seller Lam Shan-muk. 'It's the decision of the seller. It is the situation that there is a willing seller and willing buyer,' he said.