Mediacorp said to weigh sale of 1-Net data centre unit

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Mediacorp, the broadcaster owned by Singapore state investment firm 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$285.33 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 Rackspace Hosting agreed in August to sell to buyout firm Apollo Global Management, while Verizon Communications said last month it's in late-stage talks with a potential buyer for its data centres.

Keppel Corp, the Singapore oil-rig builder and property developer, listed its data centre business through a US$395 million property trust IPO in 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte, which is owned by Temasek, agreed in May to buy control of Tata Communications' data centre business in India and Singapore.

Mediacorp hasn't made a final decision, and there's 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-story facility in northern Singapore, which started operations in April, provides nearly 90,000 square feet (8,361 square metres) of data center space.

Mediacorp, Singapore's biggest broadcaster, reported S$36 million of profit in the financial year ended March 2016, compared with 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 programming through Channel NewsAsia International.