Last-minute dash to submit Astro application forms

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Oct 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: A huge crowd gathered at the Malaysian Issuing House (MIH) Sdn Bhd in Jalan Munshi Abdullah to submit their application forms for Astro All Asia Networks Plc shares when the counters opened yesterday morning.  

MIH general manager Chew Kat Nyap said the rush was evident since Tuesday night, with the crowd increasing at lunch time yesterday and it was expected to swell before the deadline at 8pm. 

“Since we did not want people to illegally park their cars, we set up a drive-in counter as well as drop-in boxes,” he said, adding that many also hand-delivered their forms. 

Chew said the counter on the ground floor of the multi-purpose building was just one of the venues where the public could submit their forms, the other being the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium here. 

Seven counters at the stadium opened at 10am while MIH manned its other seven counters at the building since 8am. Both counters closed at 8pm. 

Astro is offering 508.4 million shares, representing 26% of its equity, in its public offering (IPO) exercise, of which 325 million are for foreign institutions, local institutions (100 million) and Malaysian retail investors (83.4 million).  

The company hopes to raise some RM2bil from the IPO.  

Of the retail offering, 19.07 million shares have been reserved for directors and employees of Astro and four million for directors and employees of Usaha Tegas group and Khazanah Nasional Bhd. 

Of the remaining retail offering, 34 million shares are reserved for eligible Astro service subscribers, retailers, distributors and installers, while 26.33 million shares are for public subscription.  

Malaysian retail investors, who had until yesterday to send in their share applications, will pay RM3.80 per share.  

The final price of the retail offer will be either RM3.80 or 90% of the institutional price or whichever is lower. 

Balloting of the retail offer shares will take place on Monday and Astro will be listed on the KLSE on Oct 28. 

The prospectus cautioned investors that Astro was heavily indebted, as its subsidiary AAAN Bermuda Ltd had total bank borrowings, finance lease liabilities and advances from corporate shareholders of RM1.3bil as of July 31.  

The company currently has a subscriber base of 1.1 million.  

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