* Ting Hsin joins battle for telecoms operator - source
* Foxconn seeks 22 pct of Asia Pacific Telecom - media
* Battle highlights appeal of Taiwan 4G mobile services
(Adds comments from source, industry context)
By Faith Hung
TAIPEI, May 7 Ting Hsin International Group,
parent of Chinese noodle maker Tingyi Holding, and
Foxconn Technology Group have launched rival bids for small
Taiwanese mobile telecoms operator Asia Pacific Telecom Co
, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on
The bids highlights the growing battle among newcomers like
Ting Hsin and Apple Inc supplier Foxconn to compete in
Taiwan's developing 4G mobile services sector with current
leaders, Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile and
Far Eastone Telecommunications. The 4G network, not
yet up and running, will offer faster data streaming, appealing
to smartphone users.
"Ting Hsin eagerly wants to merge with Asia Pacific," the
source told Reuters. "Such a merger would create bigger
synergies than one between Foxconn and Asia Pacific." Ting Hsin
already owns a small telecoms business, while Foxconn has a 4G
operating licence but no telecoms network of its own.
Foxconn's flagship unit and Apple iPhone maker, Hon Hai
Precision, is in talks to buy 22 percent of Asia
Pacific Telecom, local media reported this week, citing
unidentified sources. Asia Pacific Telecom has a
market capitalisation of about $1.8 billion.
The source declined to be identified due to the sensitive
nature of the matter.
Officials at the companies involved were not immediately
available for comment.
For Ting Hsin, a deal could take the form of merging Asia
Pacific Telecom with its own telecoms unit, or swapping stocks
between the two, said the source. Asia Pacific Telecom is
expected to make a decision later this month, the source said.
Foxconn's offer to buy 22 percent Asia Pacific Telecom - all
of the company's stock held by Taiwan government-owned
enterprises - would be worth T$11 billion to T$14 billion ($365
million to $464 million), the media said.
The company successfully sought a 4G licence after chairman
Terry Gou said he wanted Foxconn to diversify from pure
manufacturing as sales of big-margin smartphones such as the
iPhone slow worldwide.
Shares of Asia Pacific ended up 4.4 percent, beating the
broader market's 0.2 percent slide. Hon Hai was off 0.2
($1 = 30.1255 Taiwan Dollars)
(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Richard Pullin and Kenneth