SINGAPORE, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 20th july, 2016) - Singapore state-linked investment giant Temasek Holdings said Wednesday it would take full ownership of embattled public transport operator SMRT Corp in a deal worth Sg$1.18 billion ($869 million). Temasek's offer to buy the 46 percent of SMRT shares it does not already own follows public criticism of the operator for a series of service disruptions in recent years. Both companies said in a joint statement that SMRT would be delisted after the takeover is completed.
The statement said "privatisation will provide SMRT with greater flexibility to focus on its Primary role of delivering safe and high-quality rail service, without short term pressures of being a listed company". SMRT, which operates three metro lines, a light rail line and bus services, has come under attack in recent years for frequent breakdowns of its train services as its network expanded. Last year the rail operator was fined Sg$5.4 million -- the largest penalty ever imposed on a public transport operator in the city-state -- for a breakdown in July that crippled two core lines, hitting 413,000 commuters during the evening rush hour. SMRT was also fined for two disruptions in 2011 which affected about 221,000 commuters. Temasek's offer needs the approval of a majority of SMRT shareholders.