SOURCE / ECONOMY
Jimmy Lai's Next Digital to sell firm which owns Taiwan Apple Daily
Published: Apr 20, 2021 10:57 AM
Photo taken on May 5, 2020 shows Jimmy Lai Chee-ying appearing in court on unauthorized assembly charge in Hong Kong, China. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

Photo taken on May 5, 2020 shows Jimmy Lai Chee-ying appearing in court on unauthorized assembly charge in Hong Kong, China. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)


Hong Kong's pro-secessionist media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's Next Digital Group has entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Amazing Sino International which owns the Taiwanese version of its Apple Daily newspaper.

According to a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing on Monday, the identity of the buyer and the price have yet to be revealed. The parties to the MOU are still in discussion on the exact businesses and assets that may be sold.

"It is therefore possible that certain restructuring will need to be implemented and only certain parts (if at all) of the Group's business of Taiwan Apple Daily may be included in the Proposed Disposal," continued the filing signed by CEO Cheung Kim Hung.

Hong Kong Apple Daily reported that a potential buyer has given an intention to purchase the assets in Taiwan, citing Cheung. 

However, there is speculation that whether there will be any offer for Next Digital's Taiwan business as the media sector has been battered by the pandemic.

Next Digital shares climbed 8.79 percent to HK$0.198 ($0.025) as of 10 am Tuesday.

Lai was sentenced to 12 months and eight months in prison, respectively, for attending and organizing two illegal assemblies in August 2019, a local court announced on Friday.

Next Digital has sold four office buildings in Neihu district, Taipei since 2018, as it struggles to make a profit amid an ongoing shift in advertising revenue to online and social media from newspapers globally, South China Morning Post reported in December.
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