Edotco: RM4b to buy 13,000 tow­ers in Pak­istan

> Ax­i­ata’s Q2 net profit dou­bles on forex gains and lower tax­a­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

PETALING JAYA: Ax­i­ata Group Bhd, which saw net profit for the sec­ond quar­ter ended June 30, 2017 more than dou­ble on for­eign ex­change gains and lower tax­a­tion, an­nounced at a me­dia brief­ing yes­ter­day the ac­qui­si­tion by its in­fra­struc­ture sub­sidiary of 13,000 tow­ers in Pak­istan from Pak­istan Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ltd (PMCL) for US$970 mil­lion (RM4 bil­lion), the telco’s big­gest ex­pan­sion plan thus far.

The ac­qui­si­tion will grow edotco Group Sdn Bhd’s port­fo­lio of tow­ers in six coun­tries to al­most 40,000, mak­ing it the eighth largest in­de­pen­dent tower com­pany and sec­ond largest mul­ti­coun­try tower oper­a­tor glob­ally, based on Tower Ex­change’s Jour­nal of the Telecom Tower In­dus­try fig­ures as at May 2017.

The pur­chase of PMCL’s tower sub­sidiary, Deo­dar Pri­vate Ltd, will be funded through a com­bi­na­tion of ex­ter­nal local debt of US$600 mil­lion and an eq­uity split of US$174 mil­lion by edotco and eq­uity in­jec­tion of US$166 mil­lion by Da­wood Her­cules Corp Ltd (DH Corp).

DH Corp’s cap­i­tal will ac­cord it with a 45% stake in edotco Pak­istan Pri­vate Ltd, leav­ing edotco with a 55% stake in edotco Pak­istan. DH Corp is a con­glom­er­ate listed on the Pak­istan Stock Ex­change with a mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of US$600 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by Ax­i­ata, the pur­chase could lead to an in­crease of US$600 mil­lion in bor­row­ings for the group, which stood at RM22.3 bil­lion as at Dec 31, 2016.

In a fil­ing with the stock ex­change, Ax­i­ata said it made a net profit of RM407.2 mil­lion for the sec­ond quar­ter 2017, com­pared with RM188.9 mil­lion for the same quar­ter in the year 2016.

Op­er­at­ing profit be­fore fi­nance for the quar­ter un­der re­view was slightly lower at RM855.1 mil­lion, com­pared with RM857.8 mil­lion for the sec­ond quar­ter ended June 30, 2016. This was on a 14% in­crease in rev­enue to RM6.1 bil­lion, com­pared with RM5.3 bil­lion for the quar­ter in 2016.

Net profit for the six month ended June 30, 2017 was up al­most 16% to RM646.2 mil­lion, com­pared with RM557.2 mil­lion for the same pe­riod in 2016. This was achieved on a 15.7% jump in rev­enue to RM11.9 bil­lion, from RM10.3 bil­lion the year be­fore.

The group’s share price closed eight sen higher at RM4.93 yes­ter­day, with 5.05 mil­lion shares chang­ing hands. This gives Ax­i­ata a mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion of RM44.3 bil­lion.

BERNAMAPIX

Ax­i­ata CEO Tan Sri Ja­maludin Ibrahim speak­ing at the me­dia brief­ing yes­ter­day.

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