Axiata Group in Talks to Merge Tower Assets with Idea Cellular

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Malaysia's Axiata Group has reportedly approached India's Aditya Birla Group about a possible merger of their respective tower assets to create an international joint venture.

Axiata already has a relationship with the Aditya Birla Group through the Idea Cellular mobile network, of which Axiata owns 20 percent.

Axiata owns subsidiaries in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia and has minority stakes in networks in Singapore and Iran - as well as the Indian stake.

Citing unnamed sources, the Times of India reported that Aditya Birla has studied the Axiata plan even though no decision has been taken yet.

"There are some issues as the tower business is country specific. It may be a good financial model but there will be huge operational challenges as well. Birla will be interested if there is a comprehensive model in place," said one of the sources.

Merging the tower networks may help the two companies unlock value in the assets through a later sale or floatation. However the lack of overlapping assets means that cost cutting measures would be minimal.

On the web: Times of India

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Tags: axiata  aditya birla  idea cellular  Malaysia  India 

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