CNS eyes $1.34 bln loan ahead of Singapore IPO-Basis Point

HONG KONG, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:06am EDT

HONG KONG, July 23 (Reuters) - Private equity-backed Taiwan cable television operator China Network Systems Co (CNS) is raising a loan of NT$40 billion ($1.34 billion) to restructure its debt ahead of a proposed Singapore IPO, Basis Point reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

Citigroup has fully underwritten the new loan to refinance a similar sized deal completed in 2012 and is putting together a bank group for the financing, reported Basis Point, a Thomson Reuters publication.

DBS Bank and Standard Chartered Bank have joined with underwriting commitments, the report said.

MBK Partners, which owns a majority stake in CNS, has hired banks for a business trust IPO worth about $1 billion after Taiwan's regulators blocked its sale of the company, Reuters reported last week.

The loan could carry a tenor of five to seven years, and could have higher pricing than the NT$40.2 billion seven-year loan it will refinance, Basis Point reported.

The new loan could launch to syndication as early as next week. The IPO is expected for the second half of the year.

MBK, which acquired 60 percent of CNS for $1.5 billion in 2006, has been blocked by Taiwan's regulators from exiting the company through an agreed $2.4 billion sale to a group led by Want Want China Holdings. MBK agreed to sell CNS to the Want Want-led group in October 2010.

Earlier this year, Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund listed Taiwan Broadband Communications Co as a business trust in Singapore.

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