Macquarie Infrastructure buys 20 percent of Taiwan Broadband

Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund has bought a 20 percent stake in Taiwan Broadband Communications for $178 million. The controlling shareholder in TBC is Macquarie Media Group which holds a 60 percent stake.

Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund has paid approximately $178 million for a 20 percent stake in Taiwan Broadband Communications, taking the Australian bank’s total shareholding to 80 percent. Macquarie Media Group holds a 60 percent stake.

The media group, alongside Macquarie Bank acquired Taiwan Broadband Communications from The Carlyle Group at the end of 2005 for A$1.2 billion ($890 million). The Australian investment bank has since sold its 40 percent stake, according to a Macquarie spokeswoman. She declined to identify the seller, described as a non-Macquarie financial investor, in the latest transaction.

The purchase price for the 20 percent stake in TBC presents a 12.2 times multiple against earnings over 12 months to 31 December 2006 at the cable television infrastructure owner and operator. This compares to a multiple of 9.4 times annualized earnings for the nine months to 30 September 2005, when Carlyle had sold the company to the two Macquarie entities.

The latest acquisition will be funded with existing committed debt facilities available to the infrastructure fund.

Taiwan Broadband offers cable television, high speed internet and cable telephony services through its own cable infrastructure.

As of 31 March, TBC had about 670,000 basic cable television, 95,000 high speed internet, 17,000 digital television and 14,000 cable telephony or voice over internet protocol subscribers.

Gavin Kerr, managing director of Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund, said he was hopeful the investment in TBC could lead to the fund’s participation in further consolidation opportunities in the Taiwanese cable television industry.