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Why StarHub Ltd and MyRepublic Are Not Interested in Buying M1 Ltd

Earlier in March this year, local telco M1 Ltd’s (SGX: B2F) major shareholders, namely Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX: BN4)Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39), and Malaysian-based telco Axiata Group Berhad (SGX: KLSE: AXIATA), was said to be exploring a possible sale of their respective stakes in M1.

The news spurred a flurry of guesses as to who the potential suitor would be.

M1’s peer, StarHub Ltd (SGX: CC3), was suggested as a potential acquirer. Another potential suitor was MyRepublic, which had lost out to Australia’s TPG Telecom in its bid to be Singapore’s fourth telco.

Both companies have since spoken out against acquiring M1 but for different reasons.

Different strokes for different folks

StarHub’s annual general meeting minutes included this following statement:

“In reply to Mr Goh Yong Nghee Henry’s query on the potential acquisition of M1 Limited (“M1”), Chairman stated that the Company had no plans to acquire M1 after due consideration of all factors. The decision was made based on what was in the best interest of the shareholders.”

StarHub had earlier said that it was focused in Singapore and was open to opportunities to acquire any local or overseas companies. StarHub and M1, though, are exploring a collaboration into reducing capital expenditure.

MyRepublic had a different take.

According to notes provided by MyRepublic’s investor relations, the company sees itself as an internet platform company, and not a traditional telco. As such, MyRepublic has put in a bid, but has no intention of pursuing the acquisition.

Instead, MyRepublic will likely pursue a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model to launch a mobile service in Singapore later this year.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Chin Hui Leong doesn't own shares in any company mentioned.