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CTBC-sponsored company buys Brother Elephants for NT$400 m.

2013/12/03 21:29:38

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) The Brother Hotel sold its popular Brother Elephants baseball team Tuesday to Hua Yi, a company involved in the entertainment industry linked to CTBC Financial Holding Co. for NT$400 million (US$13.5 million).

CTBC, Taiwan's third-largest publicly traded financial firm by market value, is acting as a financial sponsor for the deal, as regulations bar financial service providers from investing directly in non-financial firms.

However, the deal specifies that the holding company's CTBC Bank has been granted naming rights and advertising cooperation rights for 10 years, allowing the bank-focused conglomerate to use baseball events to boost its corporate image without infringing on the investment ban, although it will not be involved in the day-to-day management of the team.

After taking over the team, Hua Yi will commission a study before deciding on the team's new name, mascot and team colors.

The Taipei hotel announced Oct. 19 that it was planning to sell the Elephants, one of the most popular teams in Taiwan's professional baseball league, because of its heavy financial losses. Since it was established 29 years ago, it has reportedly suffered losses of more than NT$1 billion.

The operating losses for 2012 alone reportedly totaled NT$50 million.

(By Lin Hung-han and Y.L. Kao)
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