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Axiata and Telenor abandon merger talks in Asia – for now


The two agreed to end discussions about a non-cash transaction to combine their telecom and infrastructure assets in Asia.

Axiata Group Berhad and Telenor Group had been looking to create an Asian super-carrier, stretching from Thailand to Indonesia, have 300 million customers, about 60,000 towers and €11.61 billion annual revenue.

When the proposed deal was announced, the parties said they expected to save about $5 billion through consolidation and the efficiencies of greater scale after the merger, but provided no details.

Irreconcilable differences

Over the last four months, the operators have been working on due diligence and finalising transaction agreements to be completed within the third quarter of 2019. 

Due to “some complexities involved in the proposed transaction, the parties have mutually agreed to end the discussions”. 

These “complexities” reportedly included disagreements about shareholdings and control of the combined group, and where it would have its headquarters, among other things.

The statement said, “Both still parties acknowledge the strong strategic rationale of the proposed transaction. The parties do not rule out that a future transaction could be possible.”

Neither party was available for further comment