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APTT eyes 5G tie-up with Taiwan firm after proposed 65% stake sale

THE parent company of Dynami Vision, which is the sole shareholder of Asian Pay Television Trust's (APTT) trustee-manager, is looking to pare its stake for an undisclosed sum.

The buyer in the proposed deal is Da Da Digital Convergence Co, a company controlled by Taiwan-listed Dafeng TV's founder Dai Yung Huei. Dafeng TV operates cable television systems and provides broadband services in Taiwan's domestic markets.

Da Da Digital will acquire a 65 per cent interest in Dynami from the latter's parent company Gear Rise, APTT's trustee-manager said in a filing just after midnight on Tuesday.

In the mid to long term, the Taiwanese firm is also keen to increase its stake in APTT, Mr Dai said.

Brian McKinley, chief executive of APTT Management, said Da Da Digital will become a new strategic partner for the trustee-manager.

A new strategic partnership at the trustee-manager level was one of the options considered by the trust's strategic review committee, in its review of options available for APTT and its sole investment in Taiwan Broadband Communications Group (TBC), Mr McKinley said.

Taiwanese cable TV operator TBC is APTT's main asset. TBC fully owns a hybrid fibre coaxial cable network with nearly 1.2 million subscribers.

Da Da Digital's Mr Dai said that in view of the industry changes in the 5G era, there is potential for his firm to create synergies with APTT. "There are opportunities for both parties to collaborate and cover each major metropolitan area in Taiwan," he noted.

Together, Da Da Digital and APTT can "achieve much more in terms of enabling wireless operators to tap our integrated networks for data backhaul", Mr Dai said.

Dynami's majority owner Lu Fang-Ming said that the proposed partial divestment is a win-win solution for all parties involves and for APTT unitholders.

"Prior to the proposed transaction, Dynami and Da Da Digital discussed the prospect of TBC leveraging the strengths and network of Da Da Digital to augment its position in the cable TV and broadband industry," Mr Lu said.

"On the back of Taiwan's upcoming 5G rollout, we are confident of APTT's business roadmap," Mr Lu added.

The proposed transaction will not have an impact on the management team and operations of the trustee-manager and APTT. It will also not have an impact on the distribution guidance of 1.2 Singapore cents per unit for 2020.

Gear Rise has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Da Da Digital for the proposed deal, which is subject to approvals from regulatory bodies in Taiwan and APTT's lenders.

Units of mainboard-listed APTT were trading at 16.7 Singapore cents as at 9.19am on Tuesday, up 0.1 Singapore cent or 0.6 per cent.