Batelco has made a non-binding bid for $1.4 billion Singapore wireless carrier M1, according to sources, reports Bloomberg. The other bidders are a coal producer based in China’s Shanxi province, China Broadband Capital and some private equity funds. While Shanxi Meijin Energy Co. and China Broadband have submitted first-round offers, Batelco and some private equity funds have made non-binding bids.
An earlier report in Reuters had revealed that Singapore telecom firm M1 Ltd's three biggest shareholders were evaluating selling their combined stakes worth more than S$1.14 billion ($813.5 million) in the company.
The news of potential sale of M1 comes following the introduction of TPG Telecom as the fourth operator into Singapore in December 2016 as a part of the regulator's efforts to introduce more competition into the market and reduce the phone bills. TPG Telecom, an Australian firm, had made the winning bid of S$105 million and was provisionally allocated 60 MHz of spectrum. TPG is expected to start delivering services to customers in 2018In an earlier statement, TPG had said that it expects to start delivering services to customers in 2018, and to become 'EBITDA positive when it reaches a market share of between five and six per cent'.
Last week reports in Reuters pointed out that top shareholders in M1 had approached China Mobile. However, according to Nasdaq reports, on Wednesday, financial news site AAstocks.com says that China Mobile has denied the speculation.
Axiata has a 29 per cent stake in M1, while Keppel has a 19 per cent holding and Singapore Press owns 13 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
No comments have been received from Batelco on this matter yet.