Malaysian satellite broadcaster Astro All Asia Networks plc said today it would go private after its holding company made a US$758 million buyout offer. Astro, controlled by Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan and state investment firm Khazanah Nasional Bhd, said the move was aimed at “re-energising the company’s growth, both locally and internationally.”
It said the purchase of the 27.1 per cent of the broadcaster that Astro Holdings does not currently own would enable it to pursue expansion of its ventures in China and India, and its new Internet Protocol TV projects.
Astro All Asia Networks (AAAN) chairman Badri Masri said its board received a formal offer today at a price of RM4.30, a 24 per cent premium over the closing price on March 12 before trade was suspended.
“AAAN do not foresee any changes with the ongoing operations of the company and that the company will continue to be managed by the current board and management,” Badri said.
“As a publicly listed entity substantial capital requirements needed for its growth plans may potentially strain the cash flow position and may impair AAAN’s dividend payment capability,” the company said in a statement.
If you have the time, browse through the following postings on Astro and you will understand why so many have given up on the stock:
Again, as in the usual Malaysian markets, somebody somewhere got the news ahead of everybody. Look at the huge jump in volume prior to suspension. Surprisingly EPF reduced their stakes from 8.65% to 8.61% on the same day. They accounted for 50% of the trading volume prior to suspension in the afternoon. Looks like it wasn't just me who gave up on the Astro privatisation theory - even EPF took the opportunity to sell down a bit. Ooopss ... this time really got privatisation.
Can't win em` all ...
p/s photos: Gu Chen