Hong Kong's largest telco, PCCW, has raised the ire of mainland telco China Netcom, its second-biggest shareholder, as it plans the sale of core telecommunication and media assets worth around US$7 billion. A consortium led by Australia's Macquarie Group and US buyout fund TPG-Newbridge, a unit of Texas Pacific Group, are both bidding for the assets. China Netcom bought a 20% stake in PCCW early last year, earning three seats on PCCW's 17-member board and the right to reject the sale of shares in the company's fixed-line phone and broadband businesses. However, the contract did not give the mainland telco the right to reject the sale of the assets themselves, according to a PCCW statement Wednesday. However, Beijing, which is wary of seeing telecom assets fall under foreign control, could still block the sale, observers said.
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