TM, Axiata merger makes sense, says Celcom CEO

  • Business
  • Thursday, 25 Jan 2018

Celcom Axiata Bhd CEO Michael Kuehner.

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposed merger between TELEKOM MALAYSIA BHD (TM) and Axiata Group Bhd “makes sense”, but it is still up to the shareholders to make the final decision, said Celcom Axiata Bhd CEO Michael Kuehner.

He said both TM and Celcom were telco giants which run extremely big networks in the country.

“This need to be maintained, and I can imagine a lot of synergy could come out of a merger,” he told reporters after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of Celcom Axiata with Malaysia Airlines Bhd CEO Izham Ismail here, today.

Celcom Axiata is owned by Axiata Group.

Rumours about a merger between TM and Axiata surfaced since last year after both companies demerged in 2008.

Kuehner, however, said it was difficult to ascertain the outcome of the rumours.

“My experience is, not everything that makes sense will always happen. It is difficult to predict and it is up to the shareholders to decide,” he said.

Asked if new market player Yoodo, which would enter the Malaysian market by end of this month, would post a stiff competition to Celcom, Kuehner said he did not not think so.

Instead, he said it could make the industry more competitive and offer more choices to the customers.

On the outlook, he said the industry would remain flattish next year as telco companies registered lower revenue for the past three years.

“Maybe we will see a little stabilisation in revenue growth next year,” he said.

Currently, Celcom has 11 million subscribers, of which two-thirds are prepaid customers and the rest postpaid customers.

On the MoU signed today, the long-term deal aims at enhancing digital lifestyle for travellers.

The benefits include easier ways to earn and spend MAB’s Enrich miles, flight discounts for all Celcom consumers from Feb 1, 2018, and attractive roaming plans. - Bernama

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