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Local telecom firms bid for fifth-largest cable TV operator Hyundai HCN

South Korea’s three major telecommunications firms have submitted nonbinding indicative offers to acquire Hyundai HCN, the nation’s fifth-largest cable TV operator owned by Hyundai Department Store Group, according to industry sources Wednesday.

The three local firms -- KT, SK Telecom and LG Uplus -- are expected to compete for acquiring the cable TV operator, which has a 4 percent market share with 1.3 million subscribers. The cable TV unit’s total revenue last year was 292 billion won ($237 million), with operating profit of 41 billion won.

Hyundai Department Store Group in March said it would separate and sell its cable TV unit to finance its new businesses. The acquisition deal could reach 400 billion won, according to industry sources.

Meanwhile, the three telecom firms here have been pursuing takeover deals to increase their market share.

As of last year, KT and KT Skylife remained on top with 31.5 percent market share, according to the ICT Ministry. However, KT is closely followed by LG Uplus and SK Broadband whose market share recently increased after acquiring other local pay TV operators.

LG Uplus held 24.9 percent market share after acquiring CJ HelloVision, while SK Broadband secured 24.1 percent market share after the acquisition of T-broad, according to the ministry.

By Shim Woo-hyun (