12 June 2012

Astro IPO in the works?

Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan has mandated CIMB Investment Bank to advise him on the initial public offering (IPO) of Astro All Asia Networks plc in a deal expected to raise around US$1 billion (RM3.17 billion), in the fourth quarter, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said yesterday.

The IPO plan by Ananda, Malaysia's second-richest man, comes on the heels of a US$2.8 billion sale of his power assets and proposal to hive off a stake in his satellite operator Measat Global in March.

The listing of pay-TV firm Astro will consist only its domestic operation rather than a combination of both the domestic and overseas operations, said the source, who declined to be named as the talks are private.

"Other banks haven't come on board yet," the source said.

"And the listing won't happen that early, likely to be around the fourth quarter of this year."

Astro officials declined to comment when contacted.

The IPO could well become the third largest in Malaysia this year after palm oil giant Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd's US$3.4 billion deal and IHH Healthcare Bhd's US$2 billion planned flotation.

Malaysia's IPO market has defied a trend in other financial markets such as Singapore, where motor racing firm Formula One decided to postpone its near US$3 billion IPO due to volatile markets.

Shares of Gas Malaysia Bhd rose as much as 15 per cent in their debut trading yesterday after a US$230 million listing, overcoming negative sentiment surrounding a slump in global market flotations.

CIMB led Astro's delisting in 2010, in a deal that valued it at around US$2.8 billion. The investment bank also handled its original IPO in 2003, along with Goldman Sachs, DBS and UBS. Reuters

Source: www.btimes.com.my


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