SCMP's stock soars in Hong Kong ahead of filing on acquisition talks

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - SCMP Group, publisher of Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper, said on Monday it is in talks regarding the possible acquisition of a group of media companies in Hong Kong.

The announcement came almost four hours after its shares surged as much as 31 per cent before the noon trading day lunch break with no immediate reason given for the jump. The shares closed up 23 per cent at HK$2.15, prior to a trading suspension.

In an announcement made after the trading halt, SCMP said it is currently in negotiations with third parties regarding the possible acquisition of an unidentified group of media companies in Hong Kong. It also said that, at this time, only a non-binding term sheet had been agreed.

The newspaper, the largest circulation English daily in Hong Kong, is controlled by billionaire Robert Kuok through Kerry Media.

Mr Kuok owns a sprawling business empire ranging from the Shangri-La Asia chain of luxury hotels, Singapore palm-oil firm Wilmar International and home builder Kerry Properties.

Separately, SCMP disclosed a new list of their board of directors, with the main change being that Mr Kuok's son Kuok Khoon Ean is no longer on the board.

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