TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Could Axiata turn out to be M1's buyer?

It currently holds 28.5% stake in the telco.

M1's valuation is likely to be at a good premium given the controlling block of up to 61% put up for sale by its major shareholders, RHB says in a report.

According to the brokerage firm, Axiata Group, Keppel Telecommunications and Singapore Press Holdings hold a respective 28.5%, 19.2%, and 13.4% stake in the telco.

"We understand the three shareholders would consider exiting en-bloc, although there is a provision for an individual shareholder to consider a unilateral divestment," RHB said, noting that decision would be made by 3Q17.

RHB notes that Axiata could also turn buyer of M1 if it is not able to garner a good price for its stake. Axiata's book value in M1 is approximately $520m.

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