August 17, 2011 / 11:00 PM / in 7 years

RPT-UPDATE 1-Temasek unit in $316 mln selldown of Shin Corp -IFR

(repeats story published late on Wednesday)

* Temasek-owned Cedar selling 253.5 mln Shin Corp shares -IFR

* Temasek spokeswoman declined to comment

By Saeed Azhar

SINGAPORE, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A unit of Singapore state investor Temasek is selling an almost 8 percent stake in Thai telecoms firm Shin Corp for as much as $316 million, in an attempt to increase the free float of the company, IFR Asia reported.

Cedar Holdings, majority owned by Temasek, is selling 253.5 million shares of Shin Corp at between 35.5 and 37.25 Thai baht each, in a deal that could raise 9.44 billion Thai baht ($316 million), IFR reported.

The price range reflects a discount of 6.9-11.3 percent to Shin Corp’s closing share price of 40 baht on Wednesday.

It is a significant discount from the 49.25 baht a share that Temasek-linked units paid in 2006 to purchase a controlling stake in Shin Corp from the family of Thailand’s former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Cedar had a 42 percent stake in Shin Corp before the sale, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Temasek-linked companies Cedar and Aspen would still own almost 90 percent of Shin Corp after the stake sale. The Thai stock exchange requires companies to have a minimum free float of 15 percent.

The sale of Shin Corp’s controlling stake by Thaksin’s family in 2006 triggered the events that led to his overthrow by the military in September that year.

Temasek has signalled in the past it would reduce its stake in the telecoms firm.

The stake sale comes a month after Puea Thai Party, led by Thailand’s new prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the sister of self-exiled Thaksin, won an election in a landslide.

The Temasek unit launched the accelerated bookbuilding for the deal late on Wednesday through sole bookrunner Morgan Stanley , IFR said.

The base offer size is 169 million shares and there is an option to increase the size by 84.5 million shares.

A source familiar with the deal told Reuters that Shin Corp is likely to make a formal filing on the Thai bourse on Thursday, when the deal is completed.

A Temasek spokeswoman in Singapore declined to comment.

A Shin Corp spokeswoman in Bangkok said she was unaware of the deal.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Shin Corp investor relations official met with investors at the stock exchange.

Investors asked when the company planned to raise its free float, which would involve the stake sale. The official said: “It’s shareholder business and the company has not received any information from major shareholder.” (Additional reporting by Khettiya Jittapong in Bangkok)

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