Shares of Malaysia's Maxis Surge After Buyout Offer

Shares of Malaysia's Maxis Communications jumped to a record high on Friday after a group of major shareholders led by tycoon Ananda Krishnan offered $4.7 billion to buy out minority investors in the country's largest mobile phone operator.

Krishnan has teamed up with a group of unidentified existing shareholders in Maxis to buy out the 41% of Maxis they do not already own for 15.60 ringgit per share.

Krishnan, who already owns 47.05% of the business, made the offer for the rest of the company on Thursday. Industry analysts suspect that he may ultimately want to relist Maxis offshore, where valuations are higher.

Maxis, which faces a price war and a maturing market at home, is expanding into larger and less developed Asian markets to drive growth. It owns India's Aircel and Indonesia's PT Natrindo Telepon Selular, both unlisted.

Maxis stock fetches 16.2 times projected earnings, compared with India's top mobile phone services firm, Bharti Airtel, on 38 times and China Mobile on 18.2 times.