29 August 2017
| James Pearce
Malaysia’s biggest mobile operator Axiata is set to buy tower assets worth around $1 billion from Veon, according to reports.
Bloomberg claims Edotco Group, which is
Axiata’s infrastructure division, is nearing a
deal that will see Veon Pakistan transfer ownership of around
13,000 towers to the Malaysian operator.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the news outlet
said the deal will be worth around $1 billion and, if
completed, will make Edotco the biggest independent telecoms
tower operator in Pakistan.
Axiata has previously discussed plans to expand its
infrastructure division beyond Malaysia, with CEO Jamaludin
Ibrahim claiming it will boost its Southeast Asia and South
Asia assets by more than 10,000 to 26,000 within three years.
In the same interview, the CEO said Axiata will then look to
list the operation.
The sale for Veon, formerly VimpelCom, comes during a
significant transformation for the business, which is seeking
to reinvent itself as a tech company. VimpelCom rebranded as
Veon, the name of its digital messaging app, earlier this year,
and launched a number of zero-rated services.