By Yantoultra Ngui and Niluksi Koswanage
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Reuters) - State investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has boosted the target size of its IPO for its energy assets to around $3 billion, a person with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters, as the group looks to repay debt incurred after a shopping spree for power plants.
An IPO of more than $3 billion would make the 1MDB deal one of the largest public stock offerings ever in Southeast Asia.
1MDB, which is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been expected to launch a public stock offering for at least a year, with early predictions of its size ranging from $1 billion to $2 billion.
After a delay, the process is now kicking into gear, with 1MDB expected to invite banks next month to formally pitch their services for the IPO, according to people familiar with the matter.
The timing of the pitching process means the 1MDB deal is likely to land sometime in the first half of 2014, they said. Goldman Sachs, Maybank and RHB are expected to have a role in the deal due to their exposure to the 1MDB's debt, one person said.
1MDB, fully owned by the government, did not respond to requests for comment.