IPOs: SingTel mulls Optus sale, Maxis sets $3.4b target

Robert Clark
29 Oct 2009
Daily News

Singapore Telecom is considering a public listing of a minority stake in wholly-owned Australian business Optus, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The IPO could raise between $4 billion and $5 billion that the company could use in investments in fresh markets such as Vietnam, China or Africa.

SingTel’s plan is still at an early stage and no final decision has been made, sources told the Journal. They also said that a listing was unlikely until after 2010.

Driving SingTel’s thinking is the limited growth in Australia, a mature telecom market with intense competition in all segments. SingTel acquired 100% of Optus in 2001 through a bid that valued the no.2 Australian carrier at A$17 billion ($15.28 billion).

Meanwhile, privately-held Maxis Communications, Malaysia’s largest mobile operator, has priced its stock at RM5.20 per share, valuing the 30% stake at RM11.7 billion ($3.4b), the Star reported.

The IPO, which is scheduled for November 10, is set to be the largest ever in southeast Asia.

The company was taken private in 2007 by tycoon Ananda Krishnan in a deal that valued the company at about RM40 billion ($11.8b), a price that included its fast-growing Indian and Indonesian operations. These assets have been removed from coming IPO.

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