Possible sale of Singaporean operator could be on the cards.

M1’s big three shareholders are conducting a strategic review that could lead to a sale of the Singaporean operator.

In a statement late last week, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) said that it, along with Malaysia’s Axiata Investments and Keppel Telecommunications and Transportation, have jointly appointed Morgan Stanley to assist with the review.

SPH owns 13.38% of M1, while Axiata and Keppel own 28.54% and 19.23% respectively.

SPH did not say how long the strategic review is expected to take.

"There is no assurance that any transaction will materialise from such strategic review or that any binding agreement will be reached," SPH said.

The review has been launched as Singapore’s big three operators, which as well as M1 includes StarHub and incumbent Singtel, brace for the arrival of a fourth player in the form of TPG Telecom.

The Australia-based company won Singapore’s new entrant spectrum auction in late 2016, bagging 20 MHz of 900-MHz spectrum and 40 MHz of 2.3-GHz spectrum with a bid of S$105 million (€69.7 million).

Its licence becomes effective on 1 April, at which point, under the terms of its licence, TPG will have 18 months to roll out a nationwide, street-level 4G network. Within 54 months, the network must also cover road tunnels, buildings, and Singapore’s metro railway lines and stations.