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SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (April 10): Malaysia's largest fast-food operator, QSR Brands, has shelved plans for an initial public offering (IPO) that could have raised as much as US$500 million as potential investors balked at its valuations, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters.

QSR, backed by the investment arm of Malaysia's Johor state and private equity firm CVC, had marketed the IPO to funds as anchor shareholders in the last few weeks. But they said the roughly 25 times forward earnings multiple being pitched was steep, said two of the sources, adding that sluggish markets also impacted the offering.

The sources declined to be identified as news of the IPO being shelved is not public.

There was no immediate response from QSR to a Reuters query.

If it had gone ahead, QSR would have been the biggest IPO in Malaysia in about two years, coming on the back of a year-long drought in the primary market, where total fundraising plunged to US$170 million in 2018, the lowest in 20 years.

Sources said QSR had planned to launch its IPO this quarter and as early as next month.

QSR's IPO plans have seen repeated delays due to choppy markets and domestic political uncertainties, sources said. Last May, a senior official of Johor Corp, the investment arm of Johor, had said the state would like to see the IPO done no later than November 2018.
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