Temasek likely to make offer to take SMRT private: Sources

Temasek is weighing an offer to buy all the shares it doesn't already own in SMRT. PHOTO: REUTERS
SMRT trains seen moving along Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 on July 15. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

SINGAPORE - 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.

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 will 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 S$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: "We don't comment on market speculation or rumors."

Mr Patrick Nathan, Vice-President, Corporate Information and Communications of SMRT Corporation, said: "We do not comment on market speculation and rumours."

A trading halt of SMRT's shares was called last Friday. SMRT said at close to noon on Monday that it is continuing its trading halt pending a possible annoucement.

Bloomberg had earlier on Monday reported that Temasek was considering a buyout offer for SMRT.

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