Singapore

Temasek may buy out SMRT

Trading halt continues, pending announcement

Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings is likely to make an offer to buy over and take rail and bus operator SMRT private, sources close to the deal said.

The offer could be made as soon as this week, The Straits Times reported.

Temasek owns 54 per cent of SMRT, which is listed on the Singapore Exchange and is valued at close to S$2.4 billion.

Last Friday, the government announced that it would take over all operating assets of the North-South, East-West and Circle lines, as well as the Bukit Panjang LRT Line, from SMRT for $1.06 billion.

This is the net book value - or current value - of the assets, plus GST.

Temasek spokesman Stephen Forshaw declined to comment on the deal, saying: "We don't comment on market speculation or rumours."

Mr Patrick Nathan, vice-president for corporate information and communications at SMRT Corporation, also responded with the same line.

A trading halt of SMRT's shares had been called last Friday. SMRT said at close to noon yesterday that it was continuing its trading halt pending a possible announcement.

Bloomberg had also reported earlier yesterday that Temasek was considering a buyout offer for SMRT.

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