Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is seeking to sell its $3.1 billion stake in Thai telecom company Shin Corp, according to people familiar with the matter, and has approached its SingTel unit as a possible buyer.
Temasek, which owns 41.6 percent of Shin Corp through a subsidiary, held talks with Singapore Telecommunications, as SingTel is formally known, late last year, said the people, who declined to be identified as the information is not public. Those discussions have since stalled amid political tensions in Thailand, they said.
The Temasek stake in Shin Corp, founded by former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is worth $3.1 billion by current market value. In 2006 Temasek led a group of investors including Surin Upatkoon, a Chinese-Thai businessman, that bought 96 percent of Shin Corp for $3.8 billion: Temasek didn't disclose how much it paid for its holding.
"The strategic buyer in which Temasek has a vested interest to sell to here is SingTel. So basically it is going to be an intra-group reorganization," one Hong Kong-based M&A banker said.
The move by Temasek, which oversees $170 billion, to sell its ownership in Shin Corp is consistent with other attempts by the state investor to consolidate some portfolio companies. This would be Temasek's first attempt to bring part of its telecoms operations in the region under one roof, analysts said.
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However, some of its past consolidation efforts have failed to bear fruit.
Last year its financial services portfolio company DBS Group Holdings made a bid for Bank Danamon Indonesia, but it failed to get approval from Indonesian regulator.