* UMW plans to sell 39 pct of oil and gas unit
* Asian IPOs are picking up, AirAsia X to launch IPO in June
By Yantoultra Ngui
KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 UMW Holdings Bhd, Malaysia's industrial-to-automotive conglomerate, is planning to sell 39 percent of its oil and gas unit in an IPO, a deal that some bankers say could raise up to $1 billion.
The listing comes amid a pick-up in IPOs and secondary share offerings in Asia and could be one of the largest Malaysian offerings this year after independent power producer Malakoff Bhd recently announced it was delaying its debut until next year.
An easing in political uncertainty after Malaysia's general elections last week has encouraged companies to move forward with their listing plans.
Long haul carrier AirAsia X Bhd is looking to raise $300 million in an IPO, with pricing to take place next month. Energy and water firm Ranhill Energy and Resources Bhd is also likely to raise up to $337 million in June.
Stated-backed UMW said it is offering 648.6 million shares or 30 percent of the offshore, drilling and oil-field services provider to institutional investors and the remaining 194.6 million shares to retail investors.
Proceeds will be used for repaying bank debt, capital expenditure and working capital, UMW said.
"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the proposals are expected to complete by the fourth quarter of 2013," UMW added.
The company, which has been working on a listing for the unit since 2007, did not disclose how much it will raise from the IPO.
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Credit Suisse Group AG , Goldman Sachs & Co and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) are joint global co-ordinators, while Standard Chartered is a bookrunner, sources told Reuters in February.
UMW counts Malaysia's largest fund management firm Permodalan Nasional Bhd and American investment management company Vanguard Group Inc as shareholders.