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NEWS UPDATES 31 July 2010

Malaysian tycoon makes offer

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Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan has offered to buy out minority stakeholders in power and gaming firm Tanjong PLC for 4.66 billion ringgit ($1.46 billion) as he seeks to expand his business empire.

Tanjong said in a statement late Friday that Krishnan's private company Tanjong Capital would pay 20.80 ringgit ($6.50) a share to buy the 53 percent of Tanjong that he doesn't already own to take the company private, the Associated Press reports.

Tanjong Capital was set up by Krishnan's investment arm, Usaha Tegas, and other associated entities that hold 47 percent equity in Tanjong.

"A privatized Tanjong will enable the business to seek out long-term capital providers and where it serves the corporate objective allow the introduction of strategic partners or undertaking of broader partnerships," the statement said.

The offer marked a 22 percent premium on Tanjong's last traded price of 17.88 ringgit ($5.60). Trading in Tanjong shares was suspended Wednesday and expected to resume Monday.

Bankers said shareholders viewed the company as undervalued and that its current share price was not reflective of its fundamentals

Analysts said Krishnan may divest Tanjong's gaming assets to focus on expanding its power arm after taking it private. The company currently operates around 13 power plants in Malaysia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates.

This was the second such corporate deal in a week by Krishnan, Malaysia's second richest man.

On Wednesday, he unveiled a 662.6 million ringgit ($207 million) bid to buy out minority shareholders in satellite operator Measat Global Bhd. to take the company private.

Krishnan, a self-made billionaire, has made similar corporate buy-outs in the past to strengthen his business entities, accelerate expansion and raise value for his companies.

In March, he took pay-TV operator Astro All Asia Networks PLC private, in a 2.5 billion ringgit deal.

In 2007, he bought out Malaysia's biggest telecommunications company Maxis for about 16 billion ringgit.

Forbes estimates Krishnan's personal wealth at about $7.6 billion.

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