China fears shatter Hutch Global Crossing bid

Retires gracefully

Hutchison Telecommunications has withdrawn its offer to buy a 30.75 per cent in Global Crossing, the death-bed US telco, citing difficulties over US regulatory concerns "within a reasonable investment timeframe".

And as owning a minority investment is not core to the company it's handing over its rights to buy the share to ST Multimedia, the Singapore telco.

In a graceful coda, Hutch says: "Global Crossing and ST Telemedia and their management teams have worked diligently with Hutchison in attempting to consummate this transaction. Going forward, Hutchison hopes that Global Crossing can consummate an agreement with ST Telemedia and emerge successfully from bankruptcy."

So what exactly were those regulatory concerns which stymied the participation of Hutch in Global Crossing's takeover? Hutchison Wampoa, the parent company, is, after all, of deep-dyed blue-chip hue.

In a word: China. In a sub-text: Communism. The sticking point was the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), "a panel made up of top U.S. national security and economic officials," Reuters
reported in March. "CFIUS had concerns about a large U.S. telecommunications company being majority owned by a company with strong ties to China, sources familiar with the process previously told Reuters."

Richard Perle, Iraq war architect and arch-liberal, was comfortable enough snouting in the trough for Global Crossing, despite the proposed involvement of Hutchison. So where does CFIUS get off? ®

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