Buyers have expressed their interest in procuring Axiata Group Bhd’s wireless tower business, even as the Malaysian telco juggernaut continues ahead with previous plans for a larger merger with Telenor’s Asian operations, an insider has stated.
According to the insider who has chosen to remain anonymous due to the confidentiality of the discussions, Axiata has receiving increased attention in the past few months over the potential acquisition of its Edotco Group Sdn arm, which is valued at $3 billion.
“Since its initial private placement, Edotco has continued to receive interest from potential investors,” a company spokesperson said. “To the best of our knowledge, there are no plans at present for any private sale or equity injection.”
Although recent interest in the possession of Edotco has not led to any official or detailed discussions, Axiata has chosen to move forward with Norway’s Telenor on the proposed merger by undertaking preliminary due diligence.
However, these informal approaches highlight the fact that Axiata may still pursue other options if its dealings with Telenor comes to a roadblock. Challenges are already being faced by this potential alliance in the form of job security concerns and possible foreign control of major telco assets. Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad has even previously vocalised his concern over the transaction due to these factors.
Axiata announced back in May that it will be halting further discussions with Telenor to synergise their Asian telecommunications operations that could amount to around $5 billion. Both Axiata and Telenor have yet to comment on any updates regarding their merger deal.