UPDATE 1-Hong Kong media mogul Lai sells Next Media's Taiwan assets

Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:49am EST

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HONG KONG/TAIPEI Nov 28 (Reuters) - Next Media Ltd , owned by Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, has signed a deal with five Taiwan tycoons to sell its Taiwan print and TV assets for T$17.5 billion ($601 million), regulators said on Wednesday.

The buyers will have to submit documents later in the day to gain approval of the deal, Sun Lih-chyun, commissioner of Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission, told Reuters. The commission is one of Taiwan's regulators that will review the deal.

Next Media will sell its Taiwan print business to four tycoons - Want Want ChinaTimes Group General Manager Kevin Tsai, Formosa Plastics Group Chairman William Wong, Chinatrust Charity Foundation Chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr and Lung Yen Life Service Corp Chairman Lee Shih-tsung, the commission said.

Wong, Koo, Lee and Taiwan Fire & Marine Insurance Co Ltd's > Chairman Lee Tai-hung will buy TV assets of Next Media, which owns Apple Daily and Next Magazine, known for their flashy pages and celebrity gossip news.

Trading in Next Media's shares was suspended Wednesday morning pending the announcement of the sale, the company said in a statement filed with the Hong Kong exchange.

The stock, which closed up 4.6 percent on Tuesday, has more than doubled since the beginning of this year.

($1 = 29.0960 Taiwan dollars)

(Reporting by Twinnie Siu in HONG KONG and Lin Miao-jung in TAIPEI)

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