TVB welcomes High Court ruling on share buy-back
(4 October 2017) Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) welcomes today’s ruling by the High Court quashing the decisions by the Takeovers and Mergers Panel (Panel) of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) regarding an earlier TVB offer for share buy-back.
The Broadcasting Ordinance (BO) has scale-back provisions (section 19 of Schedule 1) which mandate that foreign and Hong Kong shareholders of TVB have different voting rights. The aggregate voting control exercised by foreign shareholders must be capped and scaled back to no more than 49 per cent.
A TVB spokesman said, “The court ruling upholds the validity and applicability of the original policy objective and legislative intent of the BO restricting foreign ownership control of domestic free TV.”
“It is clear that TVB is obliged by law to comply with the BO provisions. The Panel cannot disregard, nor have the power to direct TVB to disregard, the BO.”
“It is not uncommon to find weighted voting structure with different voting rights which is seen as the general trend in overseas markets. We note that the government is also actively discussing the development of such trend in Hong Kong.”