China Mobile buys 19.9% of Phoenix from Star Group

MUMBAI: China Mobile (Hong Kong) Group Limited has purchased a 19.9 per cent interest in Phoenix from Star Group Limited. After the transaction, Star will continue to hold 17.6 per cent of Phoenix.

China Mobile and Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Limited have also reached a strategic alliance to jointly develop, market and distribute wireless content, products, services and new media applications.

Under the strategic alliance agreement, China Mobile and Phoenix will jointly develop products and services relating to the wireless delivery of media content. In exchange for direct access to China Mobile's network and customer base on favourable terms, China Mobile will have preferential access to Phoenix's news and selected programs. 

The deal will complement China Mobile's 3G strategies by widening its service offerings and providing enhanced media content to its mobile subscribers, and will broaden Phoenix's new media content's access to China mobile's customer base, informs an official release.

China Mobile chairman and CEO Wang Jianzhou says, "Phoenix offers a unique set of content to the Chinese community globally. By leveraging Phoenix's media content via our mobile platform, China Mobile will be well positioned to provide wireless multimedia services to our customers."

Phoenix chairman and CEO Liu Changle adds, "The establishment of this new strategic alliance will provide an excellent opportunity for the further development of Phoenix's new media business, and should have a very positive impact on Phoenix's long-term commercial prospects, enabling Phoenix to distribute its content through China Mobile's wireless platform and reach a broader market."

Star Group CEO Michelle Guthrie says, "We believe that bringing in China Mobile as a shareholder and strategic partner will create incredible growth opportunities for Phoenix in the future. We look forward to our continued involvement in Phoenix as the company extends its content to the largest wireless customer base in the world."

Goldman Sachs is acting as financial advisor to China Mobile. Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor to Star, according to the news release.

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