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LG Uplus to acquire majority stake in CJ Hello for US$711.9M

As expected, South Korean mobile carrier LG Uplus Corp. will buy a majority stake in cable TV operator CJ Hello Co. Ltd. for 800 billion South Korean won (US$711.9 million).

Under the deal, LG Uplus will purchase a 50% plus 1 share stake in CJ Hello from the target's parent entity, entertainment and retail company CJ ENM Co. Ltd., Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a statement.

The stake to be acquired is equivalent to 38,723,433 CJ Hello shares, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

LG Uplus expects the acquisition to help boost its share of South Korea's pay TV market as it seeks to develop more content. CJ ENM, meanwhile, said the deal's proceeds would further drive its push into content and digital commerce businesses.

The transaction, which will be confirmed in a meeting of LG Uplus shareholders in March, is subject to approval from the Korea Fair Trade Commission. The regulator in 2016 rejected the proposed acquisition of CJ Hello, then called CJ Hellovision, by SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

SK Telecom unit SK Broadband is reportedly interested in acquiring cable operators t-broad Holdings Co. Ltd. and D'Live. Another mobile operator, KT Corp., is also considering acquiring D'Live.

As of Feb. 13, US$1 was equivalent to 1,123.81 South Korean won.