Ananda raises RM340mil from sale of Measat stake


  • Business
  • Thursday, 04 Dec 2003

ANANDA Krishnan has raised RM340mil from the sale of a 20% stake in his satellite firm, Measat Global Bhd, via private share placements to fund managers, bankers involved in the transaction said. 

The sale may lead to an end to a 16-month suspension of the company's shares on the KLSE. 

Ananda on Tuesday sold 80 million Measat Global shares at RM4.25 each, said the bankers, who declined to be identified. That reduced his stake in the company to about 75%, from 95.4%, meeting exchange regulations that require at least a quarter of a listed company's stock to be publicly owned, the bankers said. 

Measat shares have been suspended from trading since July last year, when Ananda's sale of that company and his subsequent purchase of its buyer, Malaysian Tobacco Co Bhd, took his Measat Global stake above the limit. Measat said on Tuesday it would ask the stock exchange to end the trading suspension. 

“They are doing it to meet the shareholding rule,'' said Chong Sui San, who bought Measat shares for the US$263mil fund he manages for Allianz General Insurance Bhd. “They are also getting other investors to share the risk of growing the business.'' 

David Ong, head of corporate finance at Ananda's investment arm Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd, could not be reached for comment. 

Lim Kian Onn, joint chief executive of ECM Capital Sdn Bhd, which advised Measat on the share placement, also could not be reached. 

Measat operates two Boeing-made satellites across Asia and leases its transmission capacity to Ananda-controlled Astro All Asia Networks Plc to run a pay-television in Malaysia and Brunei. It plans to launch a third satellite in mid-2005. 

Most of the Measat shares were sold to Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen, or KWAP, and the investment units of lenders Malayan Banking Bhd and AMMB Holdings Bhd, the bankers said. Muzaffar Ibrahim, an assistant director at KWAP, confirmed the fund bought some shares. 

The sale allows the 65-year-old tycoon to recoup some of his biggest investments in Malaysia. Astro raised RM2.03bil in an October share sale.  

Maxis Communications Bhd, the country's second largest cellular phone company by subscribers, raised RM3.05bil in July 2002. – Bloomberg  

 

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