Hutchison Whampoa

Hutchison plans $10b sale of HGC to Vanda

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 January, 2004, 12:00am


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Hutchison Whampoa plans to sell fixed-line operator Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) to associated company Vanda Systems & Communications Holdings in a deal worth more than $10 billion, a source said.

The conglomerate will shift between $4 billion and $5 billion in debt to Vanda, in a transaction which would also help the No2 fixed-line operator gain a backdoor listing.

The deal would generate one-time gains for Hutchison, which has invested more than $10 billion in the fixed-line market through its own capital and a $4.4 billion bank loan.

Through the issue of new shares and convertible bonds, Hutchison will end up with about 50 per cent of Vanda after placing 30 per cent of new shares in the company.

'Hutchison hopes to breathe life into Vanda,' the source said.

Vanda is 37 per cent owned by Hutchison and 26 per cent by a venture fund run by DBS. The computer systems integration company lost $55.85 million for the six months to September 30 and has a market capitalisation of about $1.7 billion. A backdoor listing via a Hutchison associate was seen as a faster way to market and could also provide a richer valuation on the HGC assets, analysts said.