AX­I­ATA SELLS STAKE IN CAM­BO­DIAN UNIT

Mit­sui Co buy­ing 10pc of Ax­i­ata (Cam­bo­dia) Hold­ings Ltd for US$66m

New Straits Times - - Business -

KUALA LUMPUR

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

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