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M1 to delist, begin 'transformation journey'

Following last month's buyout, Keppel and Singapore Press Holdings have exercised their rights to acquire all remaining shares in M1 and delist the telco from the Singapore Exchange, so it can begin a "multi-year transformational journey" to better compete in the market.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

M1 shareholders Keppel and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) are exercising their rights to acquire all remaining shares and delist the telco from the Singapore Exchange, following a successful buyout bid last month. The move will enable M1 to begin a "multi-year transformational journey" so it can better compete in the market and "reinvigorate" its services.

Keppel and SPH launched a bid through their joint venture Konnectivity in September 2018 to buy out shares owned by Malaysian telco conglomerate Axiata Group, which accepted the offer last month at an estimated gain of 126.5 million ringgit (US$31.02 million). 

Now holding a 94.55 percent share, Konnectivity would exercise its rights "to compulsorily acquire" all remaining shares at S$2.06 each and, when completed and approved by the Singapore Exchange, proceed to delist the telco. The move was expected to result in Konnectivity owning 80.69 percent of M1, with the remaining shares held by Keppel Telecommunications and Transportation. 

This then would kick off M1's transformational journey to enhance its competitiveness, the shareholders said in a statement on Tuesday. "M1 will devise a multi-pronged strategy of innovation, technology adoption, and digitisation, to better meet the needs of its customers," they added, but gave no further details of what this would comprise. 

M1 CEO Manjot Singh Mann, who recently took over the helm, said: "As a member of the Keppel Group, M1 looks forward to working closely with the Keppel Group and with SPH to accelerate the changes needed to deliver even more innovative and compelling products and services, to stay ahead of the competition. M1 shall endeavour to transform to be at the heart of convergence of various digital services and technologies that present day consumers and enterprises demand."

Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua also pointed to "closer collaboration" between the three companies to "unleash synergies" and "reinvigorate" M1's products and services as well as enhance the efficiency of its operations.

Singapore's fourth mobile operator TPG Telecom, which is readying its full commercial launch later this year, has begun offering a free 12-month service trial that includes unlimited data and local mobile-to-mobile calls. Earlier this month, it expanded the trial to 200,000 users and announced it had reached 99 percent outdoor coverage across the island. 

StarHub last month introduced a mobile data add-on option priced at S$20 a month for 50GB, up from its previous option of S$10 for 10GB of data. Singtel also slashed the price of its unlimited data add-on plan, Data X Infinity, from S$39.9 to S$29.9, while M1 launched a data add-on option at S$5 a month for 25GB of data.


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