Temasek co-leads $1.9bn Shin Corp deal

Temasek Holdings and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) have led a group of investors in acquiring a 49.6% stake in Thailand’s Shin Corp for $1.87 billion.

Temasek, the investment arm of the Singapore Government, has confirmed in a statement that it is a major participant in a consortium that has bought 1.488 billion shares in Shin Corp from the Shinawatra and Damapong families.

Temasek and SCB – in which Temasek has a five percent interest – led a group of Thai-based investors in buying out the families’ combined 49.6 percent stake in Shin Corp for THB73.3 billion ($1.87 billion, €1.53 billion).

Founded by Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Shin Corp is a leading telecommunications and media company that also has interests in transportation and consumer finance.

“This transaction… will allow the Shinawatra and Damapong families to completely exit from the business,” said Dr Suvarn Valasuraphongshai, spokesman for the two families. He added: “This is an outright sale and the families have no buy-back rights.”

The deal will give Temasek a stronger foothold in Thailand’s mobile phone sector, and reflects its keen interest in the region’s fast-expanding communications market. Temasek was recently identified in Indian press sources as being keen to buy a 20 to 26 percent stake in Indian telecom firm Tata Teleservices for up to $1 billion.

Temasek is a majority shareholder of Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), which in turn owns 21.4 percent of Advanced Info Service (AIS), a Shin Corp subsidiary. Singtel also has substantial stakes in other telecommunication  companies across Asia.