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Singtel expects S$1.21 billion charge for FY2021, starts strategic review of 2 US units

Singtel expects S$1.21 billion charge for FY2021, starts strategic review of 2 US units

Singtel signage at its head office in Singapore. (File photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Singtel said on Friday (May 14) it had begun a strategic review to consider options for digital marketing firm Amobee and cybersecurity business Trustwave.

Singtel said it expected to record net exceptional losses of S$1.21 billion in its full-year results, mostly due to impairment of assets and goodwill at the two businesses.

Singtel has been facing slowing growth in its traditional carrier business and has been trying for years to diversify in new sectors.

It bought US-based Amobee for US$321 million (S$428 million) in 2012 and completed the acquisition of Trustwave at a reduced price of US$770 million in 2016.

READ: Singtel announces reorganisation of structure to capture new digital growth

The review marks the first major overhaul since Yuen Kuan Moon took over as CEO in January.

"This review could involve the restructuring of product or business segments, a full or partial divestment or business combinations with other industry players," Moon said.

"We are open to all types of strategic partnerships and deals including inviting investors who have complementary capabilities and can enhance the value of the businesses."

The company said it had booked an impairment charge of S$589 million on Amobee and S$336 million on Trustwave in the second half of the year.

The remaining carrying values of Amobee and Trustwave will be S$511 million and S$695 million respectively, the company said in a bourse filing.

Singtel also expects a S$204 million impairment charge on Australian telco Optus mainly due to legacy fixed access networks that will no longer be used.

This follows the completion of Australia's National Broadband Network roll-out and subsequent migration of customers.

A review of staff compensation at Optus is expected to record another exceptional charge of S$101 million.

The charges will be partially offset by exceptional gains including an estimated S$98 million arising from dilution in Singtel's effective shareholding in Indian telco Bharti Airtel from 31.9 per cent to 31.7 per cent, after shares were issued by Airtel as partial consideration for the acquisition of equity interest in Bharti Telemedia in March 2021.

Singtel will release its second-half and annual results on May 27.

Source: Reuters/dv

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