* Mobile phone carrier to offer 300 mln new shares
* Proceeds to fund debt payment, potential new wireless spectrum
* Maxis shares down 1.7 pct in 2017 vs 9 pct gain benchmark index (Adds Maxis announcement on potential value of share sale)
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Reuters) - Malaysian wireless carrier Maxis Bhd said it aims to raise around 1.64 billion ringgit ($384 million) in a share offering that will help cut part of the group’s debt as well as fund potential new mobile phone spectrum and expansion.
In a bourse filing on Monday afternoon, the company said it planned to issue 300 million new shares in a private placement, representing 4 percent of the total number of issued shares.
The actual proceeds to be raised can only be determined after the bookbuilding exercise for the placement, it said.
Maxis said its indicative issue price for the exercise was 5.47 ringgit apiece, assuming a 10 percent discount to the volume weighted average market price of Maxis shares for the five market days immediately leading up to the date of bookbuilding.
The company said the proceeds would go to repayment of borrowings and related incidental costs within 12 months.
It is proposing an equity fund-raising exercise to strengthen its financial position by reducing part of the group’s existing borrowings.
“This will also create financial flexibility for the Maxis Group to fund its future spectrum assignment fees, expansion plans and its growth strategy should the opportunities arise,” it said.
Maxis did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment on the share sale plan.
IFR, a Thomson Reuters publication, citing a term sheet of the transaction, reported earlier on Monday that the offering consists of 300 million new shares in an indicative range of 5.52–5.75 ringgit each, valuing the deal at up to 1.73 billion ringgit ($406 million).
The pricing represents a discount of between 2.2 percent and 6.1 percent to Friday’s close of 5.88 ringgit, the term sheet showed.
The company earlier requested trading of its shares to be halted, pending a material announcement. It did not disclose further information.
The new shares will increase Maxis’ free float to 37.1 percent from 35.1 percent, the terms showed.
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Credit Suisse were hired as joint bookrunners for the offering.
The stock is down about 1.7 percent so far in 2017, compared with a 9 percent gain for the broader market index.
$1 = 4.2710 ringgit Reporting by Fiona Lau of IFR, Liz Lee; Writing by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Jacqueline Wong