Axiata "close" to $1bn tower deal with Veon

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.

Topics: Axiata, Veon, VimpelCom, Edotco, Pakistan, merger, Jamaludin Ibrahim, Malaysia