Maxis to speed up IPO plans

Maxis Communications Bhd, which had said it would have an initial public offering in two or three years' time, has speeded up its plans, and intends to go public by next year.

Maxis Communications Bhd, which had said it would have an initial public offering in two or three years' time, has speeded up its plans, and intends to go public by next year.

The funds raised by a listing will come in handy. Malaysia's second-largest mobile operator is trying to buy a stake in Singapore's No 2 mobile operator, M1. This is likely to cost the Malaysian company US$1.2 billion.

Maxis CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim confirmed his company's bid for M1. He did not reveal Maxis' bid price, nor would he say whether the comapny would increase its bid. Maxis faces competition from Regional Wireless, a joint venture between Telstra and Pacific Century CyberWorks.

However, an analyst interviewed by Bloomberg doubted that an IPO would raise enough to buy M1, given the current economic climate.

"It's hard for Maxis to raise US$1.2 billion on its own even with an IPO at this point," GK Goh Research analyst TjandraKartika told the news service. "Most likely, Ananda Krishnan will inject cash if they win the bid."

Tycoon Ananda Krishnan private company, Usaha Tegas, owns about 70 percent of Maxis.

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