Will Axiata engage in a bidding war to S$2.50 to buy Singapore telco M1

Last week, SPH and Keppel offered S$2.06 to buy over the remaining shares to be the largest shareholder of M1. The share price jumped 28% to a high of S$2.12 intraday and is now at S$2.10.

According to a report on Bloomberg, The Malaysian carrier AXIATA paid $260.8 million for an early 12.1 per cent stake in M1 in 2005 at $2.20 per share. It would gain $547 million if it accepts SPH-Keppel’s offer of $2.06 as M1’s dividends over the years have fully repaid the debt and equity used to buy its current 28.68 per cent stake, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Analysts at Daiwa Capital Markets Singapore and Citigroup Global Markets said Axiata can counter SPH-Keppel’s buyout offer if it chooses to. Daiwa Capital Markets Singapore analyst felt that the strength of its balance sheet alone, it has adequate resources to engage in a bidding war up to S$2.50.

So, will there be a rush to bid up the price from both camps ? It remains to be seen.

Keppel, SPH offers S$2.06 for rest of M1 shares

Axiata is likely to reject Keppel and SPH offer for M1 of S$2.06 per share