Government Policy

Axiata, edotco announce $600mn equity placement deal

DHAKA, - Axiata Group Berhad and its wholly-owned

subsidiary, edotco Group have announced a record US$ 600 million equity private placement deal with Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and Khazanah Nasional Berhad for primary and secondary edotco shares.

Of which, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a public-private partnership between the Japanese government and 19 major corporations, committed share of US$ 400 million and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malaysia, committed US$ 200 million, said an Axiata press release on Wednesday.

Khazanah holds and manages selected commercial assets of the Government and undertakes strategic investments on behalf of the nation.

The release said definitive agreements are expected to be finalised and signed in January 2017 with Axiata remaining as majority shareholder of edotco post transaction.

The maiden equity raising exercise for edotco sets a new benchmark as

the largest global tower sector private placement in 2016.

The deal saw strong demand for edotco shares with interests from a

diverse mix of investors comprising both international and local asset

management companies, financial institutions and strategic investors.

INCJ is a Japanese public-private investment company whilst Khazanah is the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia. For INCJ, this investment is recognition of the long term opportunity presented in edotco.

Key interests to INCJ are edotco's unique portfolio in Asia's high

growth frontier markets, its solid customer contracts, strong management team and the company's independent operating model.

The edotco CEO, Suresh Sidhu, said on the occasion, "We are extremely

pleased to receive such strong support and interests from an impressive pool of investors."

"The additional capital injection will provide edotco the capacity to

execute its growth strategies including expansion within Asia via key

acquisitions and further in-country organic opportunities," he added.

The edotco chairman, Datuk AzzatKamaludin, said, "We are very encouraged by the outcome of this deal as it represents valuable external endorsement of edotco's performance to date and future growth potential of the company."

Commenting on the deal, Axiata president and group chief executive

officer Jamaluddin Ibrahim said, "our prime focus was to drive operational excellence and cost efficiencies, as well as to grow the business through expanding the quality of its portfolio and increasing its tenancy ratios."

Since its establishment in 2012 as the first and only regional tower

company in Asia, edotco has consistently delivered strong performance,

growing its tower base to over 25,000 operated and managed towers in five key Asian countries, according to the press release.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)