Talks are underway between Macquarie Bank and Francis Leung over the Australian bank taking a minority stake in Leung's US$1.2 billion move to take control of PCCW, the Financial Times reported. This comes despite Macquarie and US buyout fund TPG/Newbridge earlier having separate US$900 million offers for the telecommunications operator's media and telecoms assets rejected. It is widely believed the sale was blocked by the Chinese government on nationalist grounds, with China Netcom – which has a 20% stake in PCCW – opposing plans to sell to foreigners. PCCW chairman Richard Li ended up selling his 23% stake to Leung, with payments to be spread over nearly two years. Former investment banker Leung doesn't have the personal resources to buy the stake so is looking for partners to join his consortium.
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