A Taiwan food company will take over the island's largest newspaper group, the China Times Group, it was confirmed on Tuesday, reported dpa.
In a letter to the press, the China Times Group said the Want-Want Group has purchased the China Times for a price of 20.4 billion Taiwan dollars (600 million US dollars). The two sides have signed a memorandum of understanding.
"The Want-Want Group will carry on the spirit and values of the China Times Group and will perform social responsibilities," the statement said.
It is not clear how Want-Want will run the China Times Group as Want-Want's main business activities are in China, and the China Times Group has laid off most of the staff and reporters in its newspapers.
The Want-Want Group started out as a food company making rice biscuits. But over the years, it has expanded into a conglomerate focusing on China. The group has food factories, four hotels in China and one hotel in Taiwan, and has invested in tree-planting and horticulture in China. It is listed on the Hong Kong stock market.
The Chinese-language China Times daily was launched in 1950 and later expanded to become Taiwan's largest media group, but is currently facing financial difficulties.
The group owns the China Times daily, the Commercial Times daily, the China Times Publishing Company, the China Television Company and Chung Tien TV.