Malaysia's biggest pay-TV firm Astro has priced its initial public offering at the top of its price range to raise $1.5 billion, the firm said Thursday, in Southeast Asia's third largest IPO in 2012.
The offer, which is priced at 3.00 ringgit ($0.98) per share, saw demand for the institutional portion outstrip supply by more than 30 times, Astro, which is controlled by Malaysia's second richest man Ananda Krishnan, said.
The move comes despite a broad weakening in the IPO market this year, but comes at a time of strong appetite for new listings in Malaysia.
Astro dominates Malaysia's pay-to-view television market, reaching millions of homes with more than 150 different channels.
US hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management and one of Malaysia's richest banking families Hong Leong are among 16 cornerstone investors who have committed to buying nearly a third of the institutional tranche of shares.
The broadcaster plans to sell 1.5 billion shares, of which 31.2 percent are new and 68.8 percent are existing stock.
Institutional investors are allocated 1.26 billion shares and the remaining 259.9 million shares will be made available to the public.
The shares are due to begin trading on the Malaysian stock exchange on October 19.
Astro's offer is the third biggest in the country and the region this year.
Palm oil giant Felda Global Ventures Holdings raised $3 billion on the Kuala Lumpur exchange in June, followed by the $2 billion dual listing of IHH, Asia's biggest hospital operator, in Malaysia and neighbouring Singapore.
Only the $16 billion and $8.5 billion IPOs of social media leader Facebook and Japan Airlines respectively earned more this year.
Astro was delisted from the Malaysian stock exchange following a 2010 buyout by Ananda and Khazanah Nasional, the investment arm of the Malaysian government. When the company was taken private it was valued at 8.3 billion ringgit ($2.6 billion).
With forecasted economic expansion of five percent this year, Malaysia is expected to see more IPOs in the future.
Port owner Westports Malaysia is looking to raise $1.0 billion from an IPO while power company Malakoff Corp. is also planning a $1.0 billion deal early next year, Dow Jones Newswires said.