RealTime IT News

C&W, PCCW See Deal Near Despite New Legal Hurdles

Cable & Wireless HKT Ltd (HKT) Monday said that an agreement between its majority shareholder, Cable and Wireless plc (C&W), and Pacific Century CyberWorks Ltd (PCCW) may be reached within the next 48 hours.

HKT suspended trading of its shares pending an appropriate announcement by PCCW. PCCW also suspensed trading in its shares pending an announcement with Cable & Wireless HKT Ltd. Trading in the company's stock has been frozen since last Friday.

The bidding for HKT took a dramatic turn on Sunday when the Sunday Times in Singapore reported that Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) is planning legal action against HSBC Holdings.

SingTel claims HSBC broke conflict-of-interest rules because HSBC had been advising HKT's directors. In that role, it would have had access to confidential data SingTel is using in its bid for HKT.

But HSBC resigned as advisers on Sunday and is now raising money on behalf of Pacific Century CyberWorks, which is also preparing a bid for HKT.

HSBC and Bank of China International are reported to have provided CyberWorks with a bridging loan of up to HK$77 billion (US$10 billion).

The Sunday Times said SingTel's solicitors would take action against HSBC in the Hong Kong courts.