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Telenor and Axiata plan to merge Malaysian operations

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The two say their discussions are advanced and hope to iron out the deal in this quarter.

Telenor Group and Axiata Group Berhad are discussing a merger of its Malaysian mobile operations, Digi and Celcom, in which they will each own a 33.1% stake.

They say the new company will have the competence and scale to meet increasing expectations and demand from a digitally connected society.

The parties aim to drive research and innovation, and facilitate a platform for accelerated digital growth in the local ecosystem.

Milestone

Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, EVP and Head of Telenor Asia, commented, “The proposed merger represents an important milestone in Telenor Group’s strategy to strengthen its Asian presence and create value in the region.

“The new entity will have size and financial capabilities to support Malaysia’s digital aspirations and lead industry development in a connected society. We look forward to partner with Axiata to realise the potential of the new company”.

They have agreed to nominate Dato’ Izzaddin Idris as Chair, Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup as Deputy Chair, Idham Nawawi as CEO and Albern Murty as deputy CEO of the merged company which will be named Celcom Digi Berhad.

Telenor Group and Axiata hope to finalise the deal in the second quarter of 2021 after due diligence.

Nothing certain

The transaction will be subject to approval by Digi Board and Celcom shareholder, require regulatory approvals and other customary terms and conditions.  
The parties acknowledge that there is no certainty that these discussions will result in any agreement.

In September 2019, Axiata Group Berhad and Telenor Group abandoned lengthy talks to create an Asian super-carrier, stretching from Thailand to Indonesia, which would have had 300 million customers, about 60,000 towers and €11.61 billion annual revenue.