Ananda Krishnan's Buyout Offer Drives Measat to Six-Year High in Malaysia

Measat Global Bhd., Malaysia’s sole satellite operator, rose to its highest level in more than six years after billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan bid 662 million ringgit ($207 million) for full control of the company.

The stock climbed 6.8 percent to 4.06 ringgit at 9:55 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur, set for its highest close since Jan. 9, 2004. Krishnan, 72, offered 4.20 ringgit a share for the 40.4 percent of Measat he doesn’t already own, according to a statement yesterday.

“The pricing is fair; investors should accept the offer,” Yeow Yeonzon, an analyst at Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd. said in a report today. “Given the low liquidity and lack of understanding of the sector, the company has made little impact in the investors’ radar.”

Taking Measat private will allow Krishnan, Malaysia’s second-richest man, to reorganize the company and accelerate investments in markets in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Australia without seeking shareholder approval. Measat requires substantial capital investments to develop new satellite initiatives including joint ventures and strategic partnerships, the company said in a statement yesterday.

The offer provides minority shareholders an “opportunity to exit at an attractive premium while not subjecting them to the associated risks of Measat’s expansion plans,” Measat said.

Bid Premium

Krishnan’s bid was 10.5 percent higher than the stock’s price of 3.80 ringgit before trading was suspended yesterday. The offer values Kuala Lumpur-based Measat at 1.64 billion ringgit.

Krishnan in March announced a 2.5 billion ringgit buyout bid with a group of investors for Astro All Asia Networks Plc. He also privatized mobile phone company Maxis Communications in 2007, before relisting its domestic operations last year.

Measat owns four satellites able to provide transmission capacity for telecommunications and broadcasting services to Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Australia, according to its website. Measat leases its transmission capacity to Astro All Asia to run a pay-TV service in Malaysia and Brunei.

“Measat group’s loan covenants currently restrict its ability to raise further substantial capital funding,” the company said in the statement. “Private ownership at this stage will facilitate Measat group’s recapitalization and restructuring to support its satellite expansion plans.”

Krishnan is Malaysia’s richest person after Robert Kuok, with wealth estimated at $8.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The billionaire also owns stakes in gaming and power group Tanjong Plc, and has interests in real estate, marine transport and oil and gas companies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chan Tien Hin in Kuala Lumpur at thchan@bloomberg.net;

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