PCCW buyout in jeopardy as SFC seizes records

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has seized the records for the PCCW privatization vote, which could delay or even scuttle the $2 billion deal.

The SFC is investigating claims that someone had tried to stack the vote by issuing thousands of new shares parties on the eve of Wednesday's shareholder meeting. PCCW is conducting a probe of its own.

The SFC attended the vote and is now examining the voting records, the Financial Times reports.

The High Court will have to approve the privatization proposal, and will hold a hearing on February 24, according to Bloomberg. If the court approves, PCCW will be taken private on February 25.

Analysts have speculated that the investigation may delay this hearing for up to three months - and that the SFC may even order the vote annulled, reports the South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Democratic Party is considering opposing the privatization bid, RTHK reports.

Party legislator James To has called for the court hearing to postponed - if not canceled - if the allegations are substantiated, and said that shareholders may consider legal action of their own as a last resort measure.