Blackstone eyes Singapore IPO for Moser Baer Projects

Blackstone Group and MBK Partners plan Singapore initial public offerings for assets the private equity companies separately own in Taiwan and India, sources said.

MBK Partners hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley for a business trust IPO worth about $1 billion for China Network Systems Co. (CNS), the largest cable television operator in Taiwan, the sources said. The deal was expected for the second half of the year.

The sources declined to be named because details of the IPO are not yet public.

Business trusts are popular with companies because they allow them to raise cash without relinquishing control. In a business trust model, the trust sells units to investors, but control of the business is left with the trustee manager, who is usually an affiliate of the company establishing the trust.

Blackstone is mulling the IPO for Indian energy company Moser Baer Projects Pvt Ltd, separate sources added. Listing the company as a business trust is one of the options under consideration, said the sources, who could not be named as the discussions are private.

Earlier this year, Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund listed Taiwan Broadband Communications Co as a business trust in Singapore.

That listing, Asian Pay Television Trust, raised $1.14 billion in May but is down 11 per cent since its listing.

Blackstone invested $300 million in Moser Baer in 2010 for a significant minority stake in the unlisted energy company.

MBK, which acquired 60 per cent of CNS for $1.5 billion in 2006, has been blocked by Taiwan's regulators from exiting the company through an agreed $2.4 billion sale to a group led by Want Want China Holdings. MBK agreed to sell CNS to the Want Want-led group in October 2010.

Bloomberg reported MBK's plans to list CNS earlier on Friday.

Blackstone, Goldman and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. MBK could not be reached for immediate comment.

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