Ananda Krishnan’s US$3b power asset sale draws 12 bids

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan’s sale of over US$3 billion (RM9.05 billion) worth of power assets has attracted 12 initial bids with a final round of bidding expected by the end of March, the Star newspaper reported today, citing unidentified sources.

Three parties will be shortlisted for the final round, which will determine which bidder can fork out between US$3.2 billion and US$3.6 billion — the price tag that Krishnan was looking at, according to the widely read newspaper.

If the sale goes beyond US$3 billion, it will be the biggest power deal in southeast Asia. The largest deal in the sector was struck in 2008 when Temasek Holdings sold its Singapore generation firm PowerSeraya to Malaysia’s YTL Power in 2008 for US$3.03 billion.

Malaysian bidders in the preliminary round included 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a government-owned strategic development company, and joint bid by the country’s No.2 lender CIMB and the Employees Provident Fund, the Star said.

Saudi Water & Electricity Co put in a bid of RM10.85 billion — the highest so far, the newspaper added.

Ananda (picture), reckoned by Forbes to have assets of US$9.5 billion last year, owns his power assets through Tanjong Energy Group.

Tanjong Energy is wholly-owned by Tanjong Plc, which Krishnan took private in July 2010 in a deal valued at about US$2.8 billion.

Tanjong Energy owns and operates eight power plants and has investments in five in Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates, with a total net generating capacity of 3,951 megawatts.

Tanjong Energy could not be immediately reached for comment.

Reuters reported earlier this week that Krishnan had put his entire power portfolio up for sale with Standard Chartered Plc hired to manage the sale of about a dozen power plants. — Reuters 



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