Mediacorp 'mulling over sale of 1-Net data centre unit'

Mediacorp, the broadcaster owned by Temasek Holdings, is considering a sale of its data centre unit 1-Net, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The company is inviting suitors to submit non-binding bids for the business, which could fetch about US$200 million (S$285 million), according to the people. 

A sale could take place next year, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Data-centre operators, once positioned in an area of telecommunications seen as a promising growth market, have been hurt by cheaper and broader storage offerings from companies like Amazon.com.

Rackspace Hosting agreed in August to sell to buyout firm Apollo Global Management, and Verizon Communications last month said it was in late-stage talks with a potential buyer for its data centres.

Keppel Corp, the oil-rig builder and property developer, listed its data centre business through a US$395 million property trust initial public offering in 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

Temasek-owned Singapore Technologies Telemedia agreed in May to buy control of Tata Communications' data centre business in India and Singapore.

Mediacorp has not made a final decision, and there is no certainty the deliberations will result in a transaction, the people said.

A representative for Mediacorp declined to comment.

1-Net was set up in 1997, according to its website. Its new five-storey facility in the north of Singapore, which started operations in April, provides nearly 90,000 sq ft of data centre space.

Mediacorp, Singapore's biggest broadcaster, reported S$36 million of profit in the financial year ended March 2016, against S$8 million a year earlier, according to Temasek's annual report.

In addition to running major television and radio stations in the city-state, Mediacorp also creates television dramas, publishes the Today newspaper and produces regional current affairs programmes through Channel NewsAsia International.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'Mediacorp 'mulling over sale of 1-Net data centre unit''. Print Edition | Subscribe