Hong Kong tycoon, Telefonica eyeing stake in PCCW, says report

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and Spain's Telefonica are part of a consortium led by financier Francis Leung that plans to buy Li's son's 23% stake in phone operator PCCW, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report, citing Dow Jones Newswires, said Li plans to buy 12% of PCCW, while Telefonica plans to buy 8%.

In July, investors led by Leung announced plans to buy a 23 % stake in the phone company from Li's younger son, Richard, the report said.

He did not reveal his backers at the time.

A spokeswoman for Li Ka-shing didn't immediately respond to a call seeking comment. Telefonica couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Richard Li declined to say whether his father was involved in the deal or identify any other buyers.

Telefonica owns 5% of China Netcom Group, whose parent state-run China Network Communications in turn owns 20% of PCCW.

PCCW has been the subject of much investor interest this year.

In June, two foreign investors, Macquarie Bank of Australia and US investment company Texas Pacific Group, were competing to buy PCCW's phone and media assets for about $7 billion.

But Richard Li faced staunch resistance from China Netcom, amid Beijing's worries that the Hong Kong cable firm would fall into foreign hands, and eventually had to abandon the deal.

Instead, he agreed to sell his 23% interest in PCCW for HK$9.16 billion ($1.2 billion) to Francis Leung, his father's financier for decades, the report further said.