TELECOM & INTERNET | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Consistel gains ground as MyRepublic struggles to raise funds ahead of spectrum auction

It’s close to reaching its $1b funding goal.

It’s getting closer to crunch time for MyRepublic and Consistel, as the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) may make announcements this month about the pre-qualification of fourth MNO aspirants ahead of the spectrum auction in the third quarter of this year.

According to a report by Maybank Kim Eng, both companies are currently racing to raise funds.

However, ground checks reveal that locking down funding has been an uphill battle for MyRepublic despite its appointment of two major investment banks. Media reports last noted in February 2016 that MyRepublic intended to complete a funding round of $250m by April, but to date, there have been no reports of progress.

On the other hand, Consistel was reported in March 2016 to have clinched commitments to $400m of the $1b it plans to raise ahead of IDA’s spectrum auction in 3Q16. It is apparently mulling a mix of funding options, including term loans and equity. The group’s chairman also reportedly expects to secure the rest of the money by this month.

Further, Maybank Kim Eng says its sources indicate that Consistel may be getting vendor support from equipment suppliers.

Meanwhile, Maybank Kim Eng believes Consistel could make a more rational competitor than MyRepublic, going by the two groups’ media tones. Regardless of who wins, though, the risk-reward trade-off for Singtel and StarHub remains favourable.


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