(Corrects the company name in the second paragragh to Hutchison
* Hutchison fixed-line business unit of Li Ka-Shing
* Deal could be valued at $1.5 bln-$1.9 bln
* TPG-MBK combination won Wharf's fixed-line biz last year
HONG KONG, June 8 A consortium of private equity
firms TPG Capital Management and MBK Partners, as well as
telecoms firm HKBN Ltd, are preparing separate bids
for the fixed-line phone unit of Hong Kong's richest man, Li
Ka-Shing, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Hutchison Global Communications (HGC), a unit of Hutchison
Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Ltd, provides a
range of fixed-line telecommunications services in Hong Kong and
overseas for corporates and residential users.
The HGC business is expected to be valued at about $1.5
billion, five sources told Reuters, requesting anonymity because
the details had not been released publicly.
Two of the sources, however, said the deal could be valued
at as much as 12 times the company's earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $161 million in
2016, pushing the acquisition cost to as much as $1.9 billion.
HGC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for
comment, while Hong Kong broadband and telecoms service provider
HKBN, TPG and MBK declined to comment.
In October last year, the TPG-MBK consortium agreed to Hong
Kong tycoon Peter Woo's Wharf Holdings Ltd' telecoms
business for HK$9.5 billion ($1.22 billion).
MBK Partners has a long track record of investing in Asian
technology, media and telecommunications assets, including
Taiwanese network TV operator China Network Systems, cable
television network Gala TV and Japanese software maker Yayoi.
TPG has also invested in a wide range of telecom companies
in Asia, including telecommunications service provider Asia
Netcom (now known as Pacnet) and Japan Telecom (now known as
($1 = 7.7940 Hong Kong dollars)
(Reporting by Carol Zhong, Prakash Chakravarti and Chien Mi
Wong of LPC; additional reporting by Elzio Barreto and Donny
Kwok; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee Editing by Stephen Coates)