Carlyle’s $1bn Taiwan cable deal lapses

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The future of Carlyle’s $1bn agreement to sell its stake in Taiwanese cable company Kbro to Taiwan Mobile is in doubt after it failed to obtain regulatory approval, according to reports.

Carlyle had been planning to sell its Kbro stake to Taiwan Mobile in exchange for $12m and a 15.5 per cent stake in the company. The deal would have made Taiwan Mobile the largest cable television operator in the country, with 1.6 million customers, but ran into difficulty when regulators delayed it, claiming it breached rules on state ownership of media companies.

The Taipei city government has an indirect stake in Taiwan Mobile through its position in Fubon Financial, Taiwan Mobile’s parent company. Fubon’s Tsai family is Taiwan Mobile’s largest shareholder.

Taiwan Mobile said that both parties had decided to allow the agreement to lapse after the 30 June deadline, but were exploring options to deal with the regulatory issues. Both sides reportedly still want to complete the deal.

Carlyle is the largest international private equity investor in Taiwan through its Carlyle Asia Partners division.

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