SINGAPORE: Investment company Temasek Holdings plans to sell three of its wholly-owned Singapore power generation companies (gencos), starting from September.
These three gencos, PowerSeraya, Senoko Power and Tuas Power, will be divested over the next 12 to 18 months.
The deals are expected to be completed by the end of next year or early 2009.
Together, the three gencos account for 80 percent of Singapore's power generating capacity, producing about 3,000 megawatts of electricity each.
Temasek Holdings said it has received good interest for the three gencos over the past year and would be selling the companies one by one.
The first is likely to be offered through a tender process and Temasek will assess the bids based on commercial merit.
It has hired banking advisors Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse to facilitate the sales process.
Wong Kim Yin, Managing Director, Investments, Temasek Holdings, said: "In terms of the first genco, we are more inclined towards a trade sale. We think that will better meet our objectives than an IPO (initial public offering). At the moment, we are not inclined to retain any residual stake in any of the gencos, so a trade sale would meet that objective better."
But Temasek is not ruling out other options, such as selling shares through an IPO for the other two gencos.
Temasek has declined to give a dollar value for the gencos, but reports have estimated that each company could fetch between S$2 billion and S$3 billion.
The long-awaited sale is in line with the government's aim to liberalise the electricity market in Singapore.
To increase competition, there will be no restrictions on foreign ownership of the gencos.
Temasek said this change in ownership is unlikely to have an impact on electricity prices.
Mr Wong said: "Changing ownership by itself is not expected to have any impact on consumers because they will continue to be served by SP services, which will continue to buy from the wholesale market and enjoy the benefit of competition among these gencos."
Temasek said it is an optimal time to sell because of favourable market conditions and the huge demand for electricity.
Moreover, there is also a gas regulation framework in place to ensure there is a steady and orderly supply of gas and power.