Morgan Stanley M&A banker Popper to join Temasek: sources

SINGAPORE Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:34pm IST

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley's (MS.N) top mergers and acquisitions banker in Southeast Asia Jonathan Popper will join Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings TEM.UL to lead its M&A team, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.

Popper's departure could affect the long-running battle for Fraser & Neave Ltd (FRNM.SI) as he was involved in advising the Thai group that is keen to take over the Singapore property and soft drinks conglomerate.

Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi's bid values F&N at S$12.8 billion, slightly below a rival bid from Singapore property and hotel group Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OVES.SI).

Temasek, the smaller of Singapore's two sovereign funds, had S$198 billion ($162 billion) of assets as of March 31 last year. The firm said in July last year it had a "comfortable net cash position" and that it was looking to acquire assets in Europe and plough more money into energy and commodities.

A Morgan Stanley spokesman in Hong Kong confirmed Popper's departure while Temasek declined comment. The sources declined to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media. ($1 = 1.2232 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Kevin Lim and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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