Li Ka-shing, Asia’s wealthiest tycoon, has offered to buy out minority shareholders in Hutchison Global Communications (Global), its domestic fixed line operator, for up to 57% less than their initial investment. Under the terms of the deal Hutchison Telecommunications International (HTIL), which groups Mr Li’s telecoms interests in emerging markets, will pay HKD2.2 billion-HKD2.4 billion for the 47% of Global it does not already own. The offer price is well below that at which the group parent, Hutchison Whampoa, sold some of its Global shares shortly after the company was listed in January 2004. Shareholders, who have two months to approve the deal, can either accept HKD0.65 in cash for each Global share or receive two HTIL shares for every 21 Global shares. By the end of 2004, Global controlled around 11% of Hong Kong’s fixed line market, with 245,000 lines in service, behind PCCW (1.42 million) and City Telecom (253,000).
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