REFILE-Eutelsat, KKR said to place bids for SingTel's Australia unit

Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:50pm EDT

HONG KONG/SYDNEY, June 17 (Reuters) - France's Eutelsat Communications SA and private equity firm KKR & Co are among the suitors to place first-round bids for Singapore Telecommunications Ltd's Australian satellite unit, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

SingTel, Southeast Asia's largest telecom operator, values the satellite business of its Australia unit Optus at more than A$2 billion ($1.9 billion), and has put it on sale as it battles tepid growth in its key markets of Singapore and Australia.

Britain's Inmarsat, Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group are among the other suitors to submit bids ahead of the Friday deadline, the person told Reuters. Other bidders to express interest include, Asia Satellite Communications Holdings Ltd, Intelsat, Sky Perfect Jsat Corp, Australia's NewSat and SES , the person said.

Blackstone, Carlyle, KKR, Intelsat, SES and SingTel declined comment. Eutelsat, Inmarsat, AsiaSat, JSat and NewSat did not reply to emails seeking comments. The source declined to be identified as the sale process is confidential.

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