TVB defers dispatch of share repurchase document

Broadcaster fails to get stock regulator’s approval to issue its buyback offer document on Friday

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 March, 2017, 9:23pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 March, 2017, 9:23pm

Television Broadcasts’ HK$4.21 billion (US$542 million) share repurchase plan has been further delayed, as the broadcaster failed to get the stock regulator’s approval to issue the buyback offer document on Friday.

The city’s dominant free-to-air TV broadcaster, known at TVB, said it would defer the dispatch of the offer document to a date no later than April 10. Additional time is needed, according to a filing with the Hong Kong exchange.

“We have not yet got the approval from The Securities Futures Commission,” said Tam Sik-yeung, assistant general manager at TVB’s corporate affairs office, while refusing to unveil why it had failed to get the green light.

“Once the document is issued, the company can confirm the date of an extraordinary meeting on the voting of the share repurchase proposal,” he said.

Mark Lee Po-on, TVB’s chief executive officer, had expected the repurchase offer to follow quickly after TLG Movie & Entertainment Group dropped its proposed offer on March 7 to buy a 29.9 per cent stake in the 49-year-old broadcaster.

In an interview with South China Morning Post, Lee had said the offer document would be issued this week.

TVB offered to buy back 31.51 per cent of the company’s shares for HK$4.21 billion in January. The broadcaster is 26 per cent owned by Young Lion, which is controlled by the broadcaster’s chairman Charles Chan Kwok-keung. Mainland businessman Li Ruigang and HTC Corp chairwoman Wang Hsiueh-hong also own stakes in Young Lion.

TVB raised the buy-back offer price by 15 per cent to HK$35.075 in a bid to thwart TLG’s bid on February 14.

Shares in TVB fell 6.91 per cent to HK$31.65 on Friday.