Hong Kong's troubled ATV sold to China Culture Media International

HONG KONG - Asia Television is changing hands.

ATV executive director Ip Ka Po announced on Thursday that China Culture Media International has acquired a controlling stake in the troubled Hong Kong broadcaster, said Ming Pao Daily News.

Shareholder Wong Ben Koon is selling his 52.41 percent stake to the Chinese company, and 41.66 per cent has been successfully sold, said Mr Ip. Mr Wong and China Culture Media International reached the agreement on June 11, and news of the remaining 10.75 percent stake will be released later.

ATV has sent an application for ownership change to Hong Kong's Communications Authority, and is awaiting approval, said Ming Pao.

China Culture Media International is investing HK$10 billion (S$1.8 billion) in ATV, which will then be able to pay workers as well as increase salaries in future, said Mr Ip.

The broadcaster will also reapply for its licence, which the government decided in April not to renew.

ATV plans to add two channels to its current six, and the eight will include a finance channel and a Mandarin channel, said Mr Ip.