Singtel Rejects Sarath Ratanavadi, Energy Billionaire’s Offer Thailand’s Number 1 Phone Company Thailand’s No. 1 phone company

Singtel rejected Friday’s offer by Sarath Ratanavadi, a billionaire from Gulf Energy, to purchase the stakes of InTouch Holdings as well its unit Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile-phone operator.

Singtel stated Friday that it believes the AIS tender offer substantially undervalues the fair market value of AIS. Singtel has rejected the AIS tender offer. This comes two weeks after AIS’s financial advisor said that Gulf Energy’s offer was too high.

Singtel doesn’t plan to accept the offer from Gulf Energy for InTouch, its parent company of AIS. It considers this strategic investment. Singtel, Southeast Asia’s largest telco owns 21.2% and 23.3% respectively of Intouch.

Singtel stated that 5G potential exists in the enterprise and consumer space due to the rapid pace of digitization in India. Singtel, a large shareholder of Intouch and AIS will contribute its telecommunications expertise and digital skills to reenergize their core business.

Gulf Energy offered in April to purchase the 81% remaining InTouch it does not own for 169 billion Baht ($5.1 Billion). Separately, it was offered 365 billion baht for AIS.

Singtel stated that it is looking forward to working alongside Gulf Energy. Gulf Energy has complementary strengths as well as a shared vision for InTouch’s leadership in 5G/digital services.

AIS has 43 million Thai subscribers. It can use its position to create a digital environment and expand business-to-business services. Singtel also said that AIS’ infrastructure assets are still unlocked.

Gulf Energy is looking for growth and has invested in toll roads, green energy, ports, and other investments. The right decision is Telecoms: Gulf’s core profit in the first quarter jumped 158% to 2.34 billion baht, up from last year. This was partly due to Intouch dividends.

Sarath (56 years old) is Gulf Energy’s controlling shareholder. He was No. 1 with a net worth $8.9billion. 5 on the list of Thailand’s 50 Richest that was published last month.

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