Axiata Group Bhd, through its wholly-owned subsidiary edotco Pakistan Pvt Ltd, is buying a Pakistani tower company for US$90 million (RM385.4 million).
edotco Pakistan, which is held under edoctco Group Sdn Bhd, signed an agreement yesterday with Tower Share Pvt Ltd to acquire its subsidiary Tanzanite Tower Pvt Ltd.
The acquisition is expected to expand edotco’s presence in Pakistan with a sizeable portfolio of about 700 towers, Axiata said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia. This will give it a strategic split of some 97% of its towers in urban areas and 3% in rural areas, providing tenancies to all major operators in Pakistan.
“This opportunity is in line with edotco’s plans to scale up its Pakistan operations and make it the largest independent tower company in the country, [putting] edotco in a strong position to accelerate its tower buildout and take advantage of further acquisition and consolidation opportunities,” the group said.
Axiata said the acquisition will be funded through internally generated funds and is subject to approval by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Competition Commission of Pakistan, as well as notification to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.
“[We are] confident that this acquisition will bring positive financial returns to the group,” said edotco chairman Datuk Azzat Kamaludin.
The group’s expansion into Pakistan would further strengthen edotco’s position as a leading independent tower company in Asia, he said.
Meanwhile, edotco chief executive officer Suresh Sidhu said the acquisition also demonstrates edotco’s continued confidence in the Pakistan market and long-term commitment to supporting the development and enhancement of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.
Axiata’s share price closed down five sen or 0.99% at RM5.02 yesterday, with 4.04 million shares crossed. The group has a market capitalisation of RM45.05 billion.
Source : The Edge Markets