Singaporean state investment vehicle Temasek Holdings has reduced its stake in Thai conglomerate Shin Corp, parent of Thailand’s leading cellco Advanced Info Service (AIS), via the sale of a 10.3% stake by Temasek’s 49%-owned affiliate Cedar Holdings for around USD687 million, Dow Jones Newswires reported today, citing a person with knowledge of the deal. Cedar sold 330 million Shin Corp shares to reduce its stake to around 13.3%, Shin Corp said in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Cedar sold around 80% of the shares to Thai NVDR Co, an entity run by the Thai stock exchange that allows foreign investors to hold a company’s shares without violating foreign ownership limits. Holders of non-voting depository receipts (NVDRs) have no voting rights but qualify for financial benefits of ordinary shareholders, including dividends. The other 20% of shares sold by Cedar went to unnamed Thai investors, Shin Corp disclosed. Temasek also owns a 41.6% direct stake in Shin Corp via its wholly-owned Thai-registered unit Aspen Holdings.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that AIS is owned by Shin Corp (40.45%) and Singapore’s SingTel (23.32%), with 36.23% in free float (as of September 2012). Alongside its 41.6% direct stake in Shin Corp (via Aspen), Temasek also directly owns 54.4% of SingTel (figure correct at September 2012). Aspen has no immediate plan to sell shares in Shin Corp, according to the statement from the latter on the Cedar stake sale.
Shin Corp, which has recently rebranded itself under the name InTouch, also owns 41% of satellite operator Thaicom as well as Thai ISP CSLoxinfo. Thaicom agreed to sell its Cambodian cellular network subsidiary MFone to local investors in November 2012, while it retains a stake in another southeast Asian mobile operator, Lao Telecommunications Company.