Temasek to juggle Shin shares to stay listed
S'pore firm to shed some of its stake to local funds and increase capital to expand operations
Temasek Holdings plans to unload some of its shares in Shin Corp Plc to local funds, following the recent entry of local tycoon Surin Upatkoon, a source close to Temasek said last week.
Shin is also considering a public offering of capital-increase shares so it can keep its listing as well as develop projects, the source said.
Shin needs to sell back into the stock market enough shares to bring its free float up to 15 per cent of its outstanding shares, or face delisting by the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
Temasek, Singapore's state investment arm, holds a 96.12-per-cent stake in Shin through
two subsidiaries, divided into 51.98 per cent for Cedar Holdings and 44.14 per cent for Aspen Holdings.
Before launching a public offering for Shin, Temasek will first divest its interests in Shin indirectly held by Cedar and Aspen to any local fund in an attempt to comply with the 49-per-cent foreign ownership ceiling under Thai telecom law.
Surin gained an indirect in-
terest in Shin with his takeover
of Kularb Kaew, a major shareholder of Cedar, in a buy-in of 68 per cent reportedly worth more than Bt10 billion.
Observers expect he will also take a direct stake in Shin by buying Shin stock from the company's shareholders.
"Surin's entry into Kularb Kaew is just the first step in Temasek's plan to bring more local investors into Shin. In the second step, Shin shares will be offered to local funds," the source said.
At Shin's board meeting late
this week, it is also expected that Surin will be appointed as a director, succeeding Niwuttamrong Boonsongpaisan, who resigned last Thursday.
Surin's entry into Kularb Kaew diluted Cypress Holdings' stake
in Kularb Kaew to 27.75 per cent from 49 per cent, and the combined stake of Pong Sarasin and Suphadej Poonpipat from 50 per cent to 4.25 per cent.
The source said Temasek was concerned that the unyielding protests against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra could threaten its plan to sell some Shin stock to local funds.
"Shin will have to devise a promising business plan to at-
tract them," the financial source said.
In January, Temasek, through Cedar and Aspen, paid the Shinawatra and Damapong families Bt73.3 billion for 49.6 per cent of Shin.
The sell-out to Temasek has drawn criticism from activist groups over Singapore's domination of Shin's TV and satellite businesses, which they regard as state assets.
The activist groups also launched a campaign to boycott products linked with Shin and Temasek.