Maxis confirms M1 bid

Maxis Communications has finally confirmed that it had made a bid for Singapore's MobileOne Asia (M1) but declined to reveal the amount it offered for the republic's second largest mobile operator.

KUALA LUMPUR--Maxis Communications has finally confirmed that it had made a bid for Singapore's MobileOne Asia (M1) but declined to reveal the amount it offered for the republic's second largest mobile operator.

Chief executive Jamaludin Ibrahim said in a Bloomberg interview that Maxis also planned an initial share sale next year to support its expansion plans which includes the M1 bid.

Newspaper reports have in the past indicated that Maxis had made a RM4.5 billion (US$1.18 billion) bid for M1 along with another bidder, Regional Wireless Co, a joint venture between Telstra Corp and Pacific CyberWorks.

"MobileOne shareholders haven't got back to us and we haven't raised our bid," Jamaludin said, adding Maxis would not seek a tie-up with Regional Wireless for a joint bid for M1.

He also dismissed rumors that Maxis was interested in a foreign partner now, adding the company was not in talks with Singapore Telecommunications or any other regional telco.

"A foreign partner can add value but it is not critical," Jamaludin said.

Touching on the shares sale, Jamaludin said: "We are encouraged by the improving market sentiment and we are looking for more positive trends before going ahead."

In October, the company said it was looking at an initial public offer (IPO) only in two to three years' time.

Besides a share sale, Maxis might also sell bonds and borrow from banks if it wins the bid for M1. ABN Amro is advising Maxis.

Reclusive tycoon Ananda Krishnan's private vehicle, Usaha Tegas, owns 70 percent of Maxis.

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