David Teoh’s TPG becomes bigger than Qantas after jumping 21 per cent in a month

Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

David Teoh’s TPG becomes bigger than Qantas after jumping 21 per cent in a month

Published 30 September 2013 11:53, Updated 30 September 2013 12:59

The personal fortune of publicity-shy billionaire David Teoh has grown to $1.3 billion after more share price growth at TPG Telecommunications, the listed telco he founded and runs. TPG stock is up 21 per cent over the past month and this rise alone has added $225 million to his net wealth. A 3 per cent fall the share price since September 19 has done little to slow the long term trend. Over the past 12 months, TPG’s stock has risen in value by 98 per cent to closer at $4.37 on September 27. In January 2009, the shares were worth as little as 15¢ each.The price rises have lifted TPG’s market capitalisation to $3.5 billion and makes it a bigger company than Qantas Airways, which is worth $3.4 billion.

Teoh and the co-owner of his 36 per cent stake in TPG, his wife Vicky, were worth $525 million on last year’s Rich 200 list, which was published in May 2012.

By May this year, they were billionaires with a $1.06 billion fortune their ranking on the lost had climbed from 77th to 34th.

The question now becomes whether the extraordinary run can continue.

TPG under Teoh’s leadership has proven itself as a smart acquirer of companies and it has built enviable fibre infrastructure across major metropolitan areas.

A lack of reliance on the services of incumbents like Telstra mean TPG have been able to provide cheap broadband and customers have signed up in droves.

On September 17, TPG released a preliminary financial report for the year to June 30, 2013 and the results in it were suitably impressive.

Revenue, EBITDA and net profit were all up and debt levels were substantially reduced.

The problem for Teoh is that his investors have grown accustomed to fast growth and not everyone is convinced that there is much left for TPG.

Nick Harris, an analyst from RBS Morgans, is among those who suggest that Teoh’s billion dollar run may be coming to an end.

“We see TPG as now priced for success [but] this seems very optimistic,” Harris says.

“We see a high likelihood of disappointment as the facts start to solidify.”

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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