China Mobile reportedly eyeing HKBN buyout
The state-owned China Mobile is reportedly exploring an acquisition of Hong Kong’s leading telecoms company HKBN.
Reuters sources indicate that the deal could spark a bidding war for the firm, currently valued at US$1 billion.
China Mobile apparently submitted a request for proposal to a group of banks to advise on acquiring and taking the operator private.
China Mobile hasn’t yet made a final decision on making a formal offer.
In February 2019, HKBN controlled 35.8% of the residential broadband subscription market and 19.4% of the enterprise market in Hong Kong.
HKBN was sold to CVC Capital Partners in 2012 and has recently attracted interest from private equity firms such as KKR and PAG.
Last May, the firm reportedly received three bids from those companies, along with Stonepeak. At that time, HKBM was valued at around US$1.7 billion.
The deal collapsed, though, mainly due to concerns surrounding valuation and volatility of the stock.
Last year, HKBN reported revenue of around US$1.48 billion with EBITDA of US$330 million on a 34% margin.