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NEWS UPDATES 19 July 2009

Malaysia TV operator in $2.5b restructuring drive

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Malaysian pay-TV operator Astro All Asia will be restructured in a 9 billion ringgit ($2.5 billion) deal that will see its international businesses sold off, reported Reuters, quoting a Singaporean newspaper.

Astro's two main shareholders, the privately held Usaha Tegas and Malaysian state investment agency Khazanah Nasional, will buy the company's unprofitable international operations under the deal, Singapore's Straits Times reported, citing unnamed bankers.

Astro will also pay a one-off dividend of 1 ringgit per share, which would see Khazanah receiving about 340 million ringgit from the payout, the paper said. Khazanah will keep its 22 percent stake in the listed Malaysian entity and control about 33 percent in the private vehicle that will house the international business.

Usaha Tegas, controlled by low-profile Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan, and its affiliates will control the rest of the private entity, the report said.




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