Hong Kong’s New World extends talks with Telstra

Australia’s Telstra Corp. Ltd. and Hong Kong’s New World Development Co. Ltd. have agreed to extend by two weeks talks that could see them merging their affiliated wireless carriers in Hong Kong, they said Friday.

The two began discussing a possible merger of Telstra CSL and New World PCS in mid-November and had originally set a deadline for an agreement of Dec. 2. They have agreed to extend the talks until Dec. 16, they said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday.

Under the proposed deal New World would transfer New World PCS to Telstra CSL and pay HK$244 million (US$31.5 million) in cash and end up with a 23.6 per cent stake of the merged company.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most competitive mobile markets with 6 operators and a total subscription base of 8.4 million lines, according to government figures.

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