AXIATA SELLS STAKE IN CAMBODIAN UNIT
Mitsui Co buying 10pc of Axiata (Cambodia) Holdings Ltd for US$66m
TELECOMMUNICATION giant Axiata Group Bhd’s unit Axiata Investments (Cambodia) Ltd is selling a 10 per cent stake in Axiata (Cambodia) Holdings Ltd (Axiata Cambodia) to Mitsui Co Ltd and its affiliate, M&Y Asia Telecom Holdings Pte Ltd, for US$66 million (RM285.33 million).
Axiata Cambodia is the holding company of Smart Axiata Co Ltd.
In a statement, Axiata said post-transaction, it would hold a 82.5 per cent stake in Smart Axiata.
“Under the agreement, Axiata has granted Mitsui a call option to acquire an additional 10 per cent interest, exercisable within 12 months from the completion of the transaction.
“The transaction is expected to close by end-May this year,” said Axiata.
It said the deal met the group’s portfolio management strategy and brought financial value for Axiata and its shareholders, with the proceeds intended for general corporate purposes and repayment of existing debt in its balance sheet.
“For Axiata, the minority stake sale helps it to re-balance its group’s portfolio while retaining a majority control in Smart.
“The transaction also unlocks value for Axiata shareholders through healthy returns on its investments in Smart and contributes to enhancing Axiata’s balance sheet position,” it said.
Axiata president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim said the strategic partnership with Mitsui would also support the growth efforts of Smart, particularly in the areas of digital services and the Internet of Things, as well as the company’s vision of becoming a new generation digital champion.
He said with Mitsui in the fold, Smart was in a position to offer enhanced digital services that would jumpstart Cambodia’s digital economy.
“We look forward to leveraging synergies from this strategic partnership.
“As a long-term investor with a diverse portfolio in the region, we continuously review various options to optimise our capital allocation, balance sheet and group structure, which includes potential adoption of strategic partners to support our growth efforts,” he added.
Jamaludin said Axiata remained committed to maintaining its majority stake in Smart.
“It is a company that has consistently outperformed its competitors with its clear customer proposition, innovative product solutions and effective cost controls,” he said. Bernama
Axiata president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim