ONE of the country's biggest private placements of listed shares in recent years was concluded yesterday when Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP) took up the third tranche of 100 million shares in Maxis Communications Bhd.
Two earlier tranches were concluded last week, with Lembaga Tabung Haji taking up 60 million shares, and the Employees Provident Fund 100 million shares.
The total 260 million shares, or more than 10.6% stake, changed hands for a whopping RM1.32bil or at RM5.10 per share.
All three tranches came from Harapan Nusantara Sdn Bhd, a bumiputra trust company, whose trustees are Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar, Effendi Fuad Stephens, Datuk Badri Masri and Mohamad Shahrin Merican.
After the sale, Harapan Nusantara still has a 13.84% stake in Maxis. The shares held by this bumiputra trust can only be sold to government institutions.
The deal was handled by financial services group ECM Capital Sdn Bhd, which are advisors to the trustees.
ECM Capital's affiliates include ECM Libra Investment Bank in Labuan and Libra Asia Securities Hong Kong.
A recent major deal handled by this group was the RM3.8bil corporate and financial restructuring of Celcom (M) Bhd, which was completed last year.
StarBiz understands that Harapan Nusantara has mandated ECM Capital to place out another 40 million Maxis shares and discussions are underway with potential buyers.
According to a banker the bumiputra shareholders of Harapan Nusantara, among the original owners of Maxis, are cashing out since the price appears reasonable to them. It was a willing-buyer willing-seller transaction, negotiations for which began about three months ago.
But the significance of the sale is that strong institutional investors such as EPF, KWAP and Tabung Haji are buying into Maxis. That goes to show that even at RM5.10 a share they still see value in the stock. These institutions are also long-term players, and that shows stability in the shareholding base.
Maxis recently reported an impressive net profit of RM949.7mil for last year; and its recent completion of the deal to buy TimeCel is seen favourably by many analysts, as its future prospects are promising despite a three-player environment where intense competition will be the order of the day.
Many analysts have a buy on the stock.
On the KLSE, Maxis closed 15 sen higher at RM5.55, off its day-high of RM5.65. A total of 43.95 million shares were transacted.