Hong Kong media and Giordano fashion magnate Jimmy Lai acquires 2% of HTC

Hong Kong media magnate acquires 2% of HTC: report

By Ted Chen ,The China Post
November 2, 2013, 12:15 am TWN

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A Hong Kong-based media magnate has reportedly acquired a 2-percent stake in HTC, a beleaguered Taiwanese handset maker whose share price has tumbled over 50 percent this year. Jimmy Lai (黎智英), founder and chairman of NextMedia (壹傳媒) group, acquired about a 2-percent stake in HTC through the open market, according to a statement by a NextMedia spokesperson which appeared in the Wall Street Journal.Based on claims of a 2-percent stake, reports suggest that Lai spent about NT$2.3-NT$2.4 billion to buy 17 million shares in HTC.

According to reports, Lai is an active investor in the Taiwanese market; however, whether he will be among the backers of HTC’s management or join the ranks of investors urging for the company’s sale to deep-pocketed players in the field remains to be seen, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The market is rife with rumors that HTC may meet the same fate as Nokia, a struggling former leader of the sector which was recently acquired by Microsoft.

Industry commentators have since stated that Lai’s move may be a gesture indicating confidence in HTC’s troubled management, which recently saw some reshuffling after company Chairwoman Cher Wang announced that she had instructed CEO Peter Chou to step back from some of his executive duties to focus on product development last month. Once the darling of handset makers, HTC recorded its first loss in the third quarter of this year, while its share price has dived by 85 percent since April 2011. Reports suggest that Chou’s abrasive management style and lack of vision was the primary cause of the company’s woes.

Shares of HTC yesterday closed at NT$144, losing NT$0.5, or 0.35 percent, with trading volume exceeding 18 million shares.

An investor of great acumen, Lai rose to his position as a media magnate from humble beginnings. In addition to his media empire, Lai founded Giordano International, an apparel retailer, and is known to be a shrewd investor in housing markets throughout the Greater China region.

Meanwhile, “—star,” a consortium backed by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Sony and Ericsson yesterday named HTC in a patent infringement lawsuit in a U.S. court. —star, along with Netstar Technologies, is also suing Google, Samsung and Huawei for infringing upon its newly acquired portfolio of Nortel patents.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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