Norway’s Telenor plans Asian telecoms merger with Malaysia’s Axiata

  • TECH
  • Monday, 06 May 2019

FILE PHOTO: Telenor's logo is seen in central Belgrade, Serbia, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Marko Djurica/File Photo

OSLO/KUALA LUMPUR: Norway’s Telenor is in talks with Malaysia’s Axiata Group to form a jointly-owned Asian telecoms company with close to 300 million customers, the companies said on May 6. 

If a deal is finalised, the merged business combining the two companies’ South Asian and South-East Asian operations will likely be owned 56.5% by the Norwegian mobile operator and 43.5% by Axiata, they said. 

The joint company will have operations in nine countries with a total population of close to 1 billion people, including Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. 

"With its unique portfolio, the MergedCo will be one of the largest telecommunications groups in the region in terms of value, revenue and profit, and with a strengthened balance sheet to support aggressive growth and expansion," Axiata said. 

The companies expect to generate savings of around US$5bil (RM20.74bil) by putting the two businesses together. 

The annual pro-forma revenue for the jointly owned company is estimated at US$13bil (RM53.93bil), with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$5.5bil (RM22.81bil) before any savings are realised. 

"Telenor and Axiata will work towards finalising agreements in relation to the proposed transaction within the third quarter of 2019 following due diligence," they said. – Reuters

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