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Next Digital puts brakes on sale of Apple Daily Taiwan

Hong Kong-based media company terminates deal to sell firm that owns Taiwanese newspaper

Next Digital puts brakes on sale of Apple Daily Taiwan

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong media company Next Digital said Wednesday (April 28) that it has terminated an agreement to sell Apple Daily Taiwan after the board decided the deal would not serve the group's interests.

After entering into a memorandum of understanding last week in which the company agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Amazing Sino International, whose assets include Apple Daily Taiwan, the company called off the sale on Wednesday. It explained in a statement that the terms indicated by the potential buyer would not be in the company's best interest if the deal went through.

Since the MOU signed by the two parties is nonbinding, neither side would bear any responsibility for the equity transactions of Amazing Sino International. Next Digital said a notice terminating the MOU has been inked.

According to UDN, a source familiar with the matter said the U-turn was likely due to the low buying price offered by the purchaser. Next Digital founder Jimmy Lai (黎智英) had expected the assets could be sold for between NT$800 million (US$28.7 million) and NT$1.2 billion, the source said.

Since 2018, Next Digital has sold five office buildings in Taipei's Neihu District as it struggles to make a profit amid the emergence of online media. Last year, Apple Daily Taiwan laid off 140 employees to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated : 2021-06-13 16:36 GMT+08:00