Macquarie linked with $900m Taiwan deal

The Australian investment bank is reported to be close to agreeing the purchase of Taiwan Broadband Communications in a secondary buyout from Carlyle Group of the US.

Macquarie Bank could sign an agreement to acquire Taiwan Broadband Communications from Carlyle Group as early as next week, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The consideration for the deal is expected to be around $900 million (€768 million).

The deal is expected to be at least partially funded from Macquarie Bank’s new global media fund, which is being listed this week on the Australian Stock Exchange with the intention of raising $760 million.

Neither Macquarie Bank nor Carlyle Group have commented on developments at this stage.

Taiwan Broadband was created by Carlyle Group and Taiwanese conglomerate Shin Kong Group in 1999. Carlyle is understood to have invested around $171 million in the company.

The firm was recapitalised, involving the issuance of $317 million in new debt, in September 2003. It has grown to become Taiwan’s third-largest cable operator with nearly 600,000 subscribers.

Yesterday, Macquarie Bank unveiled a $AU482 million profit after tax for the half-year to 30 September 2005 – an increase of 88 percent over the $AU256 million profit in the equivalent period of 2004.

David Clarke, chairman, Macquarie Bank

Hailing the “record result”, Macquarie chairman David Clarke nonetheless urged caution: “Although it was an outstanding first half result, shareholders should be cautious about extrapolating from that result to the full year because the first half profit benefited from large performance fees from listed funds which are unlikely to be repeated in the second half.”

During the reporting period, the bank’s listed private equity vehicle Macquarie Capital Alliance Group completed the €1.8 billion purchase of pan-European directories group Yellow Brick Road from 3i and Veronis Suhler Stevenson.