Business

NetLink NBN Trust to start trading in July

NetLink expects to raise net proceeds of up to $2.63 billion, making it the biggest listing since Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust in 2011


Singtel's fibre broadband unit NetLink NBN Trust has lodged a preliminary prospectus for a listing on the Singapore Exchange mainboard, with plans to start trading on July 19.

The business trust expects to raise net proceeds of up to $2.63 billion by issuing 2.9 billion units at between 80 Singapore cents and 93 Singapore cents per unit.

This would make it the biggest listing here since Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust, which raised US$5.5 billion (S$7.6 billion) in 2011.

Immediately after the initial public offering (IPO), NetLinkNBN Trust will have a market cap of between $3.09 billion and $3.59 billion.

The size of the public and placement tranches has not yet been decided, but new SGX rules require mainboard aspirants to allocate at least 5 per cent or $50 million of the IPO to the public.

The public offer will open at 5pm on July 10 and close at noon on July 17.

The trust has forecast an annualised distribution yield of between 4.73 per cent to 5.50 per cent next year, based on the IPO price range.

NetLink builds and operates the passive infrastructure for Singapore's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network, which delivers ultra-high-speed Internet access across the island.

NetLink's passive infrastructure comprises about 76,000km of fibre optic cable, 16,200km of ducts and 62,000 manholes.

The network allows NetLink to sell wholesale dark fibre services to requesting licensees like Singtel, StarHub, M1 and MyRepublic.

These licensees manage the active infrastructure such as switches and routers, and act also as retail service providers, which sell the bandwidth with value-added services to end-users.

Singtel is NetLink's sole unitholder.

Under rules laid down by the infocomm regulator requiring "structural separation", Singtel is forced to divest itself of more than 75 per cent of NetLinkNBN Trust before April next year.

NetLink, which recorded a net profit of $79.4 million in the year ended March 31 on revenue of $299 million, will be managed by NetLink NBN Management.

DBS, Morgan Stanley and UBS are the joint issue managers and joint global coordinators. Morgan Stanley is the stabilising manager.

Singtel shares rose one cent or 0.26 per cent to $3.80 yesterday.

The telco told a results briefing in February that the proceeds from the NetLink IPO could go towards funding other growth opportunities with a portion of anything above that to be returned to shareholders.

NetLinkNBN Trust will be the third company to list on the mainboard this year. Earlier in June, recruitment firm HRnetGroup made its debut.

It now trades at 89 cents, below its IPO price of 90 cents.

SINGTELstock marketFinance