Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) Lung Yen Life Service Co., a provider of funeral services in Taiwan, confirmed Wednesday that it will begin talks with the current owner of the Brother Elephants next week with a view to buying the professional baseball team.
Lung Yen said it has been considering buying the Elephants since the owner, Brother Hotel, announced Oct. 19 that the team was up for sale. On Oct. 21, Lung Yen invited professional agents to assess an investment into the baseball team, said Henry Ho, the company's general manager of public relations.
Striking a deal to purchase the Elephants is expected to boost Lung Yen's image and enterprise culture, Ho said, adding that six other potential buyers are likely to bid for the team.
Commenting on media speculation that Lung Yen, the Hon Hai Group, HTC Corp., Cathay Financial Holding and CTBC Bank were among those planning to bid for the Elephants, the team's president Hung Jui-ho said Wednesday none of those businesses have indicated to the team that they want to discuss a deal.
Huang Chen-tai, president of Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), declined to comment on the progress of the sale of the Elephants.
The Elephants, one the most popular teams in Taiwan's professional baseball league, is being put up for sale by Brother Hotel because of heavy financial losses. The team said it will remain in the league only until 2014 if a buyer is not found by the end of this year.
Because Taiwan's CPBL only has four teams, the league would likely fold if the Elephants were to leave.
The Elephants, always recognizable in their all-yellow uniforms, are one of two remaining franchises that joined the CPBL in 1990 when the league was established. The other team is the Uni-President Lions.
(By Lin Hung-han and Jeffrey Wu)