Hutchison Telecom Shares Surge on Prospects for Fixed-Line Sale

  • Board considers proposals to boost shareholder value
  • No decision taken to pursue any specific proposal: statement

Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Ltd. shares jumped by the most in almost two years after people with knowledge of the matter said billionaire Li Ka-shing is gauging investor interest in buying the fixed-line phone business.

The company’s board from time to time explores and considers proposals to boost shareholder value, although no decision has been taken to pursue any, Hutchison Telecom said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Tuesday. The shares jumped as much as 6.1 percent, the most intraday since August 2015 in Hong Kong trading.

A deal may fetch may fetch at least $1 billion for the business, which offers services for corporate customers over its fiber-optic network in the former British colony, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential. Li’s possible plan would mirror a move by Hong Kong property tycoon Peter Woo who sold Wharf Holdings Ltd. for $1.2 billion to a private-equity buyer last year.

Hutchison Telecom, which also offers mobile hardware and services, had said in February it will seek to penetrate new industry segments and tap its data-center expertise as it grapples with declining residential sales.

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