Axiata 'looking at selling international stakes'

Axiata 'looking at selling international stakes'

Malaysia’s Axiata has confirmed that it is looking at the possibility of selling stakes in some of its subsidiaries.

The company was responding to a report by Bloomberg that the company was seeking buyers for $700 million worth of overseas holdings.

The group said it “wishes to clarify that it continuously reviews various strategic options to enhance shareholders’ value”, and said that since the middle of 2015 it had been “exploring options to further optimise its balance sheet and group structure, potentially including, but not limited to, the portfolio rebalancing and review of shareholding across subsidiaries”.

But the company said it “will make all necessary disclosures at the appropriate time” and added: “Until such time, any such reports are speculative.”

Bloomberg said that Axiata was “seeking a buyer for about 11% of Indonesian unit PT XL Axiata, which has a market value of $2.2 billion”, citing “people familiar with the company”.

The agency added that Axiata was also selling “as much as 30% each” of Dialog Axiata in Sri Lanka and Smart Axiata in Cambodia. Bloombert said rising debt – up 55% since the end of 2014 to $5.2 billion – for the decision. The company would use part of the proceeds of any sale to reduce debt, it added.