HK Firm Grabs Stakes in Taiwan Telecom Market

HONG KONG (01/31/2000) - Hong Kong-based data storage media maker Hanny Holdings Ltd. today made public its plans to get a foothold in Taiwan's telecommunications market, set to be liberalized later this year.

The holding company announced it will acquire 10 percent of the UPM Group, a cable-TV provider in Taiwan that plans to expand into broadband data and multimedia services, for HK$263 million (US$34.0 million). UPM Group is backed by Taiwanese conglomerate Pacific Group.

Taiwan's government is expected by March to award licenses to competitive carriers for the first time, ending the monopoly of Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd., the Hong Kong-based company said.

Hanny also said in a statement that it will acquire a one percent stake in an unnamed telecommunications company formed last year to apply for fixed-line, long-distance, and international telephony licenses. Hanny invested in the new telecom company to take advantage of what it expects to be a fast-growing communications market on the island, the company said.

The new company was established by a consortium led by a major Taiwanese conglomerate with interests in the finance, manufacturing, real estate, communications, and computing industries, according to Hanny's statement. The company will pay approximately HK$37.5 million (US$4.8 million) for its 1 percent interest.

Hanny recently has been reported seeking investments and joint ventures in Internet companies, and reportedly has been in talks with Hong Kong industrial company Companion Dynamic Ltd. for investment in Internet technologies.

Hanny Holdings is in Hong Kong and can be reached at +852-2772-9900.

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