Axiata, Telenor drop merger discussions - Mobile World Live

Axiata, Telenor drop merger discussions

06 SEP 2019

Axiata Group and Telenor mutually agreed to end talks over a potential merger of their businesses in Asia due to complexities involved in the proposed transaction.

In separate statements, the companies acknowledged the strong strategic rationale of the proposed merger, with Telenor saying it does not rule out a future transaction.

Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke tweeted that Asia remains “a core region” for the operator.

Axiata chairman Abdul Khalid said its board is cognisant of the level of complexity a deal spanning nine countries and 14 major entities presents.

The companies said they do not intend to provide further comment on the announcement.

Over the last four months, the operators said they worked on due diligence and finalising transaction agreements for completion in the current calendar quarter, before deciding not to move ahead.

Possible headwinds
In early May, the operators opened talks about a potential non-cash merger of their telecoms and infrastructure assets in Asia, in which the Norway-based operator would take a majority stake.

Soon after, analysts expressed doubt regulators in Malaysia would approve the merger of their mobile businesses in the country due to concerns around competition and ownership laws.

Telenor’s Asian footprint includes operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar. Axiata has operating companies in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, along with tower business edotco.

Axiata said the termination of the proposed merger will not affect its ability to achieve its digital aspirations by 2022.



Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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