After failing a deal, Malaysia’s Axiata is seeking small sales

The success of the strategy is central to the telecommunications firm – majority-owned by sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and other state-linked funds – as it faces border-destroying competition across Southeast Asia, huge investments in networks fifth generation and money hungry investors.

Under pressure to distribute shareholder money after a merger with Norway’s Telenor collapsed, Malaysia’s Axiata has changed its solution: It is now in talks to discount unit shares and will no longer entertain a group-level deal, they said sources for Reuters.

One source said that “the heartbroken parent will not look for a seeker,” explaining the new strategy, “it is time for children to look for partners.”

Axiata Group Bhd and Telenor ASA began talks in May on a non-cash deal to create Southeast Asia’s largest telecom operator with 300 million subscribers. They left last month citing unspecified complexes, with a source saying a major objection from the Malaysian side was that Telenor would have control of the majority of the combined firm.

Axiata, which operates in nine countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia, has since received an informal offer from IHS Towers of Nigeria for a stake in edotco its telecommunications tower group Sdn Bhd, said three knowledgeable people. direct issue. A plan for edotco’s initial public offering is now down to the forefront, one of the people said.

Axiata also wants to sell a stake in the Indonesian-owned 66.4% PT XL Axiata Tbk unit, said people, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media. It has received a “serious and credible” offer from Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd, the people said.

Axiata is confident that it will sign an XL deal by next year, two of the people said, but does not want to give up majority control because XL holds the second largest market share of the mobile phone market in the largest economy. Southeast Asia.

When contacted by Reuters, Axiata said there was no immediate comment. IHS Towers and CK Hutchison declined to comment.


Under a new debt-prone government, Khazanah this year unveiled a plan to divide his $ 33 billion portfolio into commercial and strategic properties to maximize returns.

But money is being given to keep the state-owned Malaysia Airlines company in a state of disrepair during a lengthy search for a buyer, increasing pressure on other businesses to generate funds.

“Axiata is now pursuing profits and cash,” one of the people said.

Axiata falls under the Khazanah trading fund, which last year turned loss for the first time in a decade due to reduced deduction, higher depreciation and lower dividend income.

Khazanah declined to comment, directing questions to Axiata.

Axiata shares, valued at over $ 10 billion, have fallen more than 10% since the merger collapse was announced in early September. The firm had hoped to sign the deal as late as a week before the announcement, and Chief Executive Jamaludin Ibrahim said he was surprised it did not work.

“That hurt him,” one of the sources said. “He felt his credibility had taken a hit.”/

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