Foxconn eyes stake in Taiwan's biggest cable provider

As the manufacturer looks to diversify its services, reports suggest the firm is seeking to buy cable company China Network Systems.

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Image credit: Liu Jiayi/ ZDNet

Foxconn is in talks with MBK Partners to buy a controlling stake in Taiwan's largest cable provider.

According to Reuters, the manufacturer is in talks with Asian private equity firm MBK in order to potentially acquire a 60-percent stake in China Network Systems (CNS), the largest cable provider in Taiwan.

Foxconn, the largest supplier Apple uses to manufacture and assemble iPads and iPhones, could pay up to T$64 billion ($1.98bn) for a controlling stake in the company, according to Asian publication the Economic Daily. According to the outlet's sources, Foxconn hopes to team up with CNS in order to compete with Chunghwa Telecom by offering 4G networks to consumers.

Both Foxconn and Chunghwa Telecom own local 4G licenses. If the deal goes ahead, this will help Foxconn in its plans to diversify beyond manufacturing.

In November, reports suggested that Foxconn was ramping up hiring efforts ahead of Taiwan's 4G launch, due to take place in 2015. Foxconn plans not only to construct 600 base stations across Taiwan to support a 4G network, but also to hire over a thousand sales reps, engineers, and maintenance staff.

Foxconn secured spectrum in the 700-MHz and 900-MHz bands in October last year after the Taiwanese government launched a spectrum auction. Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone, Taiwan Mobile, Star Mobile Telecommunications, and Asia Pacific Telecom also won local spectrum licenses.