Ananda Krishnan Re-List ASTRO (IPO)

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jun,15) : Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan plans to re-list Astro All Asia Networks by end-September in a deal that would give the pay-TV firm a market capitalisation of up to RM15 billion (US$4.7 billion), according to two sources with direct knowledge of the flotation.

The initial public offering (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.

“We are looking at the week from Sept 17,” said one of the sources, who declined to be identified as the details of the IPO are not public yet. “Our target is to achieve a market capitalisation of between RM11 billion and RM15 billion, hopefully everything goes smoothly,” the source added.

The second source said the book-building process will start in August or September. Astro officials declined to comment when contacted.

If the IPO goes well, it will join a stable of listed Ananda-linked firms such as telco Maxis and oil and gas services provider Bumi Armada that have a combined market capitalisation of about RM60 billion. Ananda recently mandated CIMB Investment Bank to advise him on Astro’s listing in a deal expected to raise around US$1 billion (RM3.2 billion), a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters last week.

The IPO could well follow the listing of Malaysia’s IGB Corp Bhd retail real estate investment trust by early September, a deal which is expected to raise up to RM700 million. 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.

Malaysia’s IPO market has outshone most other Asian countries this year as a large domestic pension fund system and the dominant role of local investors have shielded it from global volatility. Felda Global Ventures Holdings, the world’s third-largest palm oil company by acreage, priced its US$3.1 billion IPO late on Wednesday near the top of an indicative range, buoyed by strong demand from domestic investors to help it counter a recent global trend of failed listings.

Hospital management firm IHH Healthcare’s up-to-US$2 billion IPO has secured a strong cast of cornerstone investors ahead of its pricing slated for July 12.
– Reuters