Ananda pares down stake in Bumi Armada

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KUALA LUMPUR : Tycoon Ananda Krishnan and his bumiputera partners will sell roughly 15% of offshore services provider Bumi Armada Bhd in private placements to local and foreign institutional investors in a deal that will raise close to RM2 billion.

Financial executives involved in the placement told The Edge Financial Daily that the sale of roughly 440 million shares in Bumi Armada would cut the joint holdings of Ananda and his bumiputera partners to 55% in the company.

“It [the deal] will widen our shareholder base and raise a little money,” said one financial executive, who declined to be named. He added that the shares would be placed out at a discount of between 3% and 6% of the current trading price of Bumi Armada shares, which closed at RM4.22 yesterday. “We could tweak the sale slightly upwards if there is a strong response.”

The planned placement, which will be finalised in the coming days, represents the latest in a series of asset sales involving units in Ananda’s diversified corporate empire.

Ananda's proposed sale of a stake in Bumi Armada is the latest in a series of multi-billion ringgit asset sales involving units in the reclusive tycoon's diversified corporate empire.

Last month, Ananda sold his international power generation business to the secretive sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd for RM8.5 billion. Financial executives close to the group said 1MDB is also in talks to buy Ananda’s satellite operator Measat Global.

Over the last five decades, Ananda has established himself as one of the few Asian tycoons with a serious global reach.

After building businesses overseas, he returned to Malaysia in the mid-1980s to lay the foundation of what would later become the region’s most integrated multimedia and tele-communications group.

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, April 27, 2012.