An arm and a leg: Shinawatras ready to sell Shin for USD2 billion

18 Jan 2006

Thailand’s Shinawatra family will sell off its entire stake in conglomerate Shin Corp to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings without any buy-back option in the next two weeks, according to reports in The Nation newspaper. According to sources close to the deal quoted by the paper, the agreement is worth THB80 billion (USD2 billion) in cash, and doesn’t involve a share swap for Temasek’s stake in Singapore Telecom (SingTel), as previously rumoured.

Thai Prime Minister’s Thaksin Shinawatra’s family and in-laws, the Damapongs, jointly hold a 49.61% stake in Shin Corp, giving them a 42.9% stake in Thailand’s largest mobile operator, Advanced Info Services (AIS). Shin Corp also has stakes in Asian satellite operator Shin Satellite, television broadcaster iTV, budget airline Thai Air Asia and finance house Capital OK. The Shinawatras have been quoted in the Thai press as saying they want to end all connections with the company to end accusations of conflicts of interest from political opponents and the general public.