Singapore’s MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues claims it has already lined up SGD130 million ($94 million) of the SGD250 million in funding it needs to roll out a fourth network in the city-state and denied it has financial problems.
Responding to reports that its fund-raising efforts haven’t attracted interest, Rodrigues told The Middle Ground (TMG) that those are “a bold-face lie”. Reports have also surfaced that the company’s broadband business in Singapore, Indonesia and New Zealand posted losses last year, raising questions about its ability to fund a mobile network rollout. He acknowledged large losses in Indonesia, but he was positive about the future and said business has improved since January.
The ISP appointed two international investment banks — DBS Group Holdings and Goldman Sachs — in February to raise SGD250 million. Rodrigues said it has already secured a loan facility for more than half that amount and has offers to fund the remainder, TMG reported. “So right now we have to finish another SGD120 million.”
He has said in the past that as a new entrant, without legacy systems, it would have a big cost advantage over rivals and will need about SGD300 million, less than a third of the conventional infrastructure cost, to build a nationwide 4G network as it can use existing facilities from its internet business.
MyRepublic and rival Consistel have expressed interest in bidding for Singapore’s fourth mobile licence. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is expected to soon announce the pre-qualification requirements for the spectrum auction planned for Q3.
Consistel, a regional wireless network provider, reportedly has lined up commitments for as much as $400 million of the nearly $1 billion it aims to raise and expects to secure the remainder this month.