Malaysia: Axiata says eyeing acquisitions, mulling IPO for tower unit

Axiata Group Bhd CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim Interview And Operations At The Company's Celcom Flagship Store Photo: Bloomberg

Malaysia’s Axiata Group Bhd is seeking to seal at least one large deal in its telecom tower infrastructure business, pushing it up the ladder to become the fifth largest player by 2021 in the space.

Axiata is currently ranked at the eighth place, according to president and CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim, quoted by local media reports.

“Axiata has done three large deals so far. Maybe a small one coming this year, and one or two more big deals coming later,” he said, taking into account the recently concluded $940-million telco tower deal in Pakistan.

Last week, Axiata said its unit edotco Group Sdn Bhd secured approval to raise funds from Pakistani lenders to complete the acquisition of 13,000 tower assets from Deodar Pte Ltd.

Currently, Axiata’s telco tower infrastructure business is managed by its subsidiary edotco Group, which operates a portfolio of 27,000 towers across Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and Myanmar.

A Reuters report had earlier said that edotco Group is eyeing an entry into Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, and will look to raise funds for more deals. Jamaludin claimed edotco is being valued at $1.9 billion by independent advisers and is seriously considering an initial public offering (IPO).

A Bloomberg report, meanwhile, said that if an IPO does take place, edotco could raise at least $500 million.

Talking about the Indian market, Axiata said it is optimistic that the merger between India’s second and third largest telco players – Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone India will materialise in the next two or three months, pending approvals.

Axiata currently holds a 16.3 per cent in Idea Cellular, which will be diluted to around 8 per cent after the merger.

Also Read:

Axiata says no ongoing re-merger talks with Telekom Malaysia

Malaysia: Axiata shares climb as carrier said to consider $500m tower IPO

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.