NEWS

Axiatas tower unit seeking deals to enter new markets, expand

Friday, Oct 04, 2019

Malaysian telecoms firm Axiata Group Bhd has asked its edotco towers unit to seek deals to enter new markets or expand in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and may consider selling a stake if attractive large investment opportunities arise.

Axiata last month pulled the plug on a planned non-cash merger with Norway’s Telenor ASA (TEL.OL) citing unspecified complexities.

Axiata Chief Executive Jamaludin Ibrahim told Reuters on Thursday his company did not see chances for another group-level deal. A tie-up with Telenor would have created Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms operator with 300 million subscribers.

“Apart from the Telenor deal, there is no equivalent group deal that will bring the same level of benefits,” Jamaludin said. “However, we are open for unit-level deals that would result in in-country consolidation because in most cases, we believe in significant synergies as a result.”

Reuters reported this week that Axiata had received offers for its 66.4%-owned Indonesian unit PT XL Axiata Tbk (EXCL.JK) as well for edotco Group Sdn Bhd.

Axiata last month pulled the plug on a planned non-cash merger with Norway’s Telenor ASA (TEL.OL) citing unspecified complexities.

Axiata Chief Executive Jamaludin Ibrahim told Reuters on Thursday his company did not see chances for another group-level deal. A tie-up with Telenor would have created Southeast Asia’s largest telecoms operator with 300 million subscribers.

“Apart from the Telenor deal, there is no equivalent group deal that will bring the same level of benefits,” Jamaludin said. “However, we are open for unit-level deals that would result in in-country consolidation because in most cases, we believe in significant synergies as a result.”

Reuters reported this week that Axiata had received offers for its 66.4%-owned Indonesian unit PT XL Axiata Tbk (EXCL.JK) as well for edotco Group Sdn Bhd.

Jamaludin denied the company was under pressure from its biggest shareholder, sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd [KHAZA.UL], to improve returns but reiterated that the immediate focus would be on profit and cash.

“This is also required to position us to invest in possible in-country consolidation and new growth areas ... so we can continue to deliver on our ‘moderate growth, moderate dividend’ investor proposition,” he said.

 

Source: reuters.com

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