Hong Kong tycoon fails to buy son's shares in PCCW

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing's attempt to buy the shares of his younger son, Richard, in the territory's dominant phone company was rejected by shareholders, ending an extended business drama that saw the scion struggling to emerge from the shadow of his father, an Associated Press report said.

Minority stockholders of Pacific Century Regional Developments (PCRD), a Singapore-based company controlled by Richard Li, rejected a proposal to sell its 22.7% stake in Hong Kong fixed-line operator PCCW for HK$9.16 billion ($1.2 billion), the report said.

The vote marked PCCW chairman Richard Li's failure to either reform or drop out of a floundering business venture that has struggled to live up to its aspiration of becoming a regional high-tech powerhouse.

Earlier, the 40-year-old Li tried to sell PCCW's core telecom and media assets to Australia's Macquarie Bank and US private equity company Newbridge Capital.

The talks were eventually called off because of objections from major shareholder China Netcom.

Richard Li instead opted for a share sale that was later complicated by his father's participation.

He announced in July an agreement to sell PCRD's stake in PCCW to a group of investors led by Francis Leung, a longtime financier for the elder Li.

Leung's financial backers weren't known at the time, but they eventually included Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica and two foundations run by Li Ka-shing.

At an extraordinary general meeting in Singapore 76.3% of minority holders voted against the deal.