Temasek makes $3 bln bid to take control of Singapore's Keppel Corp

SINGAPORE: Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is offering to take control of Keppel Corp in a S$4.1 billion ($3 billion) deal that will shore up support for the conglomerate, which is battling difficult business conditions.

Temasek, which directly owns 20.5% of Keppel, said in a statement that the pre-conditional offer is subject to it obtaining domestic and foreign regulator approvals, which could take many months.

Keppel, whose businesses range from rig-building to property development, has been facing business challenges in its main sectors.

"The partial offer reflects our view that there is inherent long term value in Keppel's businesses, notwithstanding the challenges presented by the current business and economic outlook," Tan Chong Lee, Temasek International's president, said in the statement.

Temasek will seek to work with Keppel's board to undertake a strategic review of its businesses, if the deal closes.

Reuters reported the news of Temasek's stake increase ahead of the announcement.

Temasek said it does not plan to delist or privatise Keppel, which would remain listed on Singapore Exchange.

An indirect fully owned subsidiary of Temasek will offer S$7.35 in cash for each Keppel share, a premium of nearly 26% over the last traded price of S$5.84.

Shares in Keppel were halted for trading earlier on Monday.

Morgan Stanley is the sole financier adviser to Temasek for the offer. - Reuters