Jimmy Lai to sell Next TV

Louise Duffy | 02-10-2012

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is to sell his Taiwan TV business Next TV, because of big financial losses.

The Hong Kong-listed Next Media signed a memorandum of co-operation with Taiwanese cable operator Era Communications, and a final contract of sale is due to be signed next month.

Next TV has run up losses of over $340m since it was founded in Taipei in September 2009, according to a report by Next Media's Apple Daily newspaper, and the sale will involve 500 redundancies at the TV unit.

Next magazine and the Apple Daily newspaper have both been commercial successes and will not be affected by the sale.

In a brief letter to Next Media employees, Lai apologised for his "failure" in running Next TV.