(Bloomberg) — Axiata Group Bhd. and Norway’s Telenor ASA will sign a definitive agreement as soon as Monday to combine their Malaysian mobile operations in what would be the biggest telecom transaction in the southeast Asian country, people familiar with the matter said.
The boards of Axiata and Telenor approved the transaction and an announcement could come as early as Monday, the people said, asking not to be named as the process is private. The terms of a deal will be largely similar to what was previously announced, they added. The merged entity will be valued at more than 45 billion ringgit ($10.9 billion), according to one of the people.
A formal agreement would come after Axiata and Telenor announced in April that they were in advanced discussions to merge Celcom Networks Bhd. and Digi.com Bhd. that could create Malaysia’s biggest cellphone operator by subscribers. The merger will also become the nation’s largest telecom deal on record, surpassing Binariang GSM Bhd.‘s 2007 acquisition of Maxis Communications Bhd. in a 41 billion ringgit deal, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Axiata and Telenor will have an equal ownership of 33.1% each in the merged entity to be known as Celcom Digi Bhd., which will have a subscriber base of 19 million and pro-forma revenue of 12.4 billion ringgit.
Shares in Axiata fell about 2.2% as of 11:06 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur after losing as much as 4.2% earlier. Digi.com shares are little changed.
An announcement could still be delayed and the transaction is subject to regulators’ approvals, said the people. A representative for Celcom redirected queries to Axiata, which has declined to comment. Representatives for Digi.com and Telenor didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Updates Axiata and Celcom comments in the last paragraph.)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.