Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Singapore trust tests investor appetite for $1bil IPO

Asian Pay Television Trust, an investment vehicle for one of Taiwan’s biggest pay-TV operators, has started testing appetite for an up to 1 billion dollar listing that is set to be the city’s second-biggest flotation so far this year.

The Taiwanese company plans to list in the form of a trust, people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday. Singapore is a hub for trust listings, which appeal to investors seeking assured yields from investments rather than short-term capital gains. The planned initial public offering comes as several companies are considering relaunching IPOs in Singapore, encouraged by large share sales in Southeast Asia in recent months.
Taiwan Broadband Communications is owned by two funds managed by Australia’s Macquarie Group --the Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund, known as MIIF, and Macquarie Korea Opportunities Fund-- which plan to sell their stakes to Asian Pay Television Trust.

The trust has received listing approval from Singapore Exchange, and plans to release a preliminary IPO prospectus by mid-May, according to one of the people with knowledge of the deal. The trust would then start taking orders from institutional investors, ahead of a planned listing at the end of May, the person added.

A Macquarie spokeswoman declined to comment.

Established in 1999, Taiwan Broadband Communications is one of Taiwan’s biggest pay-TV operators and has an interest in five cable television networks in northern and central Taiwan, broadcasting to more than 1 million homes. The group also sells services like broadband internet access.

Singapore-listed MIIF said this month it plans to inject its 47.5% stake in Taiwan Broadband Communications into Asian Pay Television Trust for a minimum of $469.5 million. The fund will seek shareholders’ approval for the sale on April 30.

MIIF’s shareholders would stand to receive at least $0.408 per share if the fund successfully sells its stake. As of Dec. 31, Taiwan Broadband Communications accounted for 61% of MIIF’s portfolio value.

MIIF bought an initial 20% stake in Taiwan Broadband Communications in July 2007 and has spent $479.2 million to more than double its interest, according to its website. Macquarie Korea Opportunities Fund acquired a 60% stake in June 2008 from the formerly listed Macquarie Media Group for 392 million Australian dollars (US$506 million), and later sold part of its interest.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., DBS Group Holdings, CIMB Group Holdings and Macquarie are joint lead managers for the planned IPO.

Apart from Asian Pay Television Trust, several other companies are also pushing for listings in Singapore, encouraged by strong demand for multi-billion-dollar listings in the region earlier this year. Mapletree Investments. --a unit of Singaporean state-investment firm Temasek Holdings.--completed in March a US$1.3 billion IPO for a China-focused real-estate investment trust, and BTS Group Holdings PCL raised US$2.13 billion ($2.62 billion) via listing its skytrain business in Thailand earlier this month. Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust’s offering was nearly 30 times subscribed, while BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund’s IPO was also oversubscribed by multiple times.

U.K.-listed fund management and banking group Investec PLC plans to raise up to US$500 million by June through an IPO of an aircraft-leasing trust, while Japan’s Croesus Retail Trust is seeking to raise about US$300 million by listing some shopping malls, also by June, people with knowledge of the deals said earlier. The companies had planned listings last year, but pulled their deals because of weak market conditions and tepid investor demand.

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