Singapore’s second largest telecoms operator StarHub is spending up to SGD162.8 million (USD120.5 million) to acquire a 50.1% stake in rival ISP MyRepublic’s fixed broadband business which serves some 6,000 enterprise customers including SMEs and large organisations, as well as 85,000 residential broadband subscribers in Singapore. StarHub notes, however, that the deal excludes MyRepublic’s mobile business and international business operations. As at May 2021, the company had around 70,000 MVNO subscribers in the city-state, having launched its mobile business back in 2018. Upon completion, the transaction will lift StarHub’s fixed broadband market share by around 6% to close to 40%. To facilitate the deal, MyRepublic has set up a new entity, MyRepublic Broadband, which will be purchased by StarHub’s broadband unit, StarHub Online. In an email reply to ZDNet, MyRepublic’s spokesperson confirmed the deal would not affect its franchise partnership with Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group which ‘remains unchanged’.
It is understood that StarHub has committed to an initial sum of SGD70.8 million for the 50.1% equity interest, plus a SGD92 million ‘deferred consideration dependent on future financial performance’. Further, the new majority shareholder would also refinance SGD74.2 million of debt for MyRepublic over a span of three years, upon completion of the transaction, leaving the latter holding 49.9%. MyRepublic’s senior management team including co-founder and CEO Malcolm Rodrigues will remain in their roles. The acquisition is expected to be completed by 31 December 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.