Singapore-based Singtel and investment company KKR emerged as the leading bidders for a 20 per cent stake in ST Telemedia Global Data Centres valued at about $1 billion, Reuters reported.

Singtel released a statement following the report to state it regularly explores and reviews business opportunities, but confirmed no definitive or binding agreement has been made.

Trading of its shares was halted for about 6 minutes while it issued the statement.

In February, Bloomberg reported the data centre provider shortlisted the Singtel-KKR partnership, Apollo Global Management, Blackstone and Stonepeak Partners for its fundraising, with binding bids due in April.

ST Telemedia Global Data Centres was established in 2014 and operates about 170 facilities in 11 countries in Asia and Europe. Singaporean state-owned conglomerate Temasek owns its parent, Singapore Technologies Telemedia.

In September, Singtel sold a 20 per cent stake in its regional data centre business to KKR for SGD1.1 billion ($815.2 million) to raise funds to expand the business across Southeast Asia.