Proxy advisory firm ISS Governance Services has lent support to Richard Li's planned privatization of PCCW, reversing its earlier opposition to the buyout bid.
ISS had urged shareholders to vote against Li's HK$4.20 ($0.54) per share offer. Li subsequently raised the offer to HK$4.50 just before shareholders were set to vote on December 30.
Now, ISS has lent its support to the deal, the South China Morning Post has reported. The advisory firm has advised shareholders to consider that the new offer contains a "no increase statement", meaning Li and mainland carrier China Unicom will not increase their bid price.
The new offer represents a 55% premium over the stock's trading price, which settled at HK$2.90 before it was suspended pending the buyout announcement.
Shareholders will meet on February 4 to vote on the revised offer.