Hong Kong’s smallest operator, SmarTone, and a group of private-equity firms are the latest companies to bid for Wharf T&T, a fixed-line and broadband provider for mostly corporate clients.
According to Bloomberg, MBK Partners and TPG Capital submitted a joint offer for Wharf T&T, which is owned by Wharf Holdings. SmarTone also submitted a bid.
KKR & Co and Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) submitted bids for Wharf T&T and pay-TV operator i-Cable, both of which are controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Peter Woo and are expected to sell for $1 billion to $1.2 billion.
Wharf announced in March it was looking to offload the two units and is expected to name a winner by the end of the month.
Reuters reported that three other suitors submitted bids last week for Wharf’s telecoms assets. Hong Kong-listed Nan Hai Corp reportedly is one of a couple of firms interesting in acquiring i-Cable.
HKBN, whose biggest shareholder is Canadian pension fund CPPIB, is said to be the front-runner.
SmarTone, which has a 16 per cent market share, is controlled by the city’s largest property developer Sun Hung Kai.