Mobile network operator LG Uplus will soon finalize its plans to take over Korea’s largest cable TV firm CJ Hello, according to news reports here on Feb. 8.
The nation’s No. 3 mobile carrier, after SK Telecom and KT, will hold board meeting as early as next week to get approval for a deal that is estimated to be worth 1 trillion won (US$888.8 million) for a 53.92 percent stake.
Media firm CJ ENM put the controlling stake up for sale last year. When LG Uplus initially proposed the plan to holding company LG Corp. in October last year, it was turned down due to potential regulatory hurdles and a negative impact on the media industry. But following a three-month review, the holding company reportedly ended up giving the green light.
LG Uplus in talks to acquire CJ Hello
LG Uplus, however, denied the reports.
“From the beginning, this was not an option,” a spokesperson from the company said.
Market analysts and investment banking executives have long been speculating that LG Uplus would buy the cable TV operator to increase its presence in the media segment.
If the acquisition takes place, LG Uplus could become a bigger player in Korea’s pay-to-watch TV segment with more than 8 million subscribers -- 3.79 million from LG Uplus and 4.29 million from CJ Hello. KT, which leads the paid-TV sector, currently has 7.67 million subscribers.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)