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SingTel eyes Optus IPO amid ‘unexpectedly low’ bidding from private equity, trade

8 Aug 2013

satellite-dishsq_lrgLower than expected bidding from private equity and trade buyers for Singapore Telecommunications’ Australian satellite unit has pushed the company to consider an IPO instead, it is understood.

AltAssets reported last month that a consortium including buyout majors TPG and Blackstone had been shortlisted for the final round of bidding for Optus Satellite, and was up against Eutelsat and SES for the asset.

But SingTel is now eyeing a potential public listing after the firms’ bidding partner Measat Global dropped out over concerns the price tag was not justified by earnings, Reuters has reported.

It cited two people with knowledge of the matter, who said fellow private equity firms KKR and Bain Capital had also exited the process, although IntelSat is among parties still interested.

SingTel, which is South East Asia’s largest phone company, is seeking A$2bn for the business, which has five satellites covering Australia, New Zealand and parts of the Antarctic.

Optus posted revenues of $319m for the financial year to the end of March 2012.

SingTel bought the business as part of the $9.69bn takeover of Optus, Australia’s second-largest phone company, in 2001.

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