Henry Cheng, billionaire chairman of Hong Kong’s New World Development, is set to become the controlling shareholder of the parent company of the region’s broadband pay-TV operator i-Cable.
Stock exchange filings indicate that Celestial Pioneer, a company wholly-owned by Cheng, reached two agreements with certain undisclosed minority shareholders of Forever Top (Asia) on September 30th conditionally to buy a 40.5 per cent interest in the i-Cable parent.
“Upon completion of the sales and purchase agreements, Forever Top will become a controlled corporation of Celestial Pioneer and Dr Cheng Kar-shun,” the exchange filing said.
Together with an existing stake held by Celestial Pioneer, Cheng will own at least 72 per cent of Forever Top when the transaction completes.
Forever Top assumed control of i-Cable in 2017 with a capital injection of more than HK$700 million (€78m), after its previous owner, Wharf Holdings, chose no longer to fund the loss-making operator.
It had 754,000 pay-TV subscribers as of June 2020, a 38 per cent share of the market.