5 Nov 2009 10:59

China Unicom shareholders to buy back stocks from SK Telecom

Beijing. November 5. INTERFAX-CHINA - China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (China Unicom) shareholders agreed buy back stakes held by South Korean telecom operator SK Telecom Co. Ltd. at a total transaction value of HKD 9.99 billion ($1.29 billion), according to a Nov .4 joint announcement.

China Unicom will purchase 899.75 million shares held by SK Telecom for HKD 11.11 ($1.43) per share, equaling 3.8 percent of its total capital stock.

Interfax reported on Sept. 29 that SK Telecom planned to relinquish its holding in China Telecom but that the agreement was pending approval from China Unicom Ltd.'s board of independent directors.

SK Telecom purchased the China Unicom shares in August 2007 for approximately HKD 7.75 billion ($999.97 million). The purchase made SK Telecom the second-largest shareholder in the company at the time, with a 6.6 percent stake.

SK Telecom's stake was diluted as a result of the merger between the former China Network Communications Group Corp. (China Netcom) and China Unicom in October 2008, and increasing investments from Spanish telecom giant, Telefonica S.A.