Fun & Games

Axiata, edotco sign $600mn equity private placement deal

DHAKA, Jan 18, 2017 (BSS) - Axiata and its subsidiary edotco today announced the signing of the definitive agreements of its record equity private placement deal of US$ 600 million with Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB) for primary and secondary edotco shares.

As the largest placement exercise in the tower sector announced on 13 December 2016, the transaction is expected to close by end of January 2017, said a press release today.

Based on edotco's portfolio at close 2, the maximum committed placement of US$ 400 million from INCJ and US$ 200 million from Khazanah would result in the new investors collectively owning 34.1 percent of edotco, with Axiata remaining the majority shareholder at 65.9 percent.

This Private Placement, as concluded by the investors, values edotco's final portfolio at equity value of close to US$ 1.5 billion and an enterprise value to FY16 EBITDA multiple of 12.5x3, which is comparable to regional peers.

The final portfolio takes into account the potential injection of tower assets in Cambodia and Sri Lanka at a later date with a resultant increase in Axiata's shareholding in edotco.

The valuation was arrived based on a competitive process which included several other international and domestic parties.

CEO of edotco Suresh Sidhu said, "Our lead investors and new

shareholders, INCJ and Khazanah, are both long-term investors who will provide strategic value-add to edotco's growth strategy, open doors to further strategic collaborations, as well as enhance and diversify our shareholder base."

"We will deploy the proceeds of the primary placement with the aim of accelerating our growth trajectory, thereby growing shareholder value further," he added.

Chairman of edotco Datuk Azzat Kamaludin stated "edotco's strong

business fundamentals, exceptional long-term prospects and experienced management team have all played a role in attracting high quality foreign and local investors such as INCJ and Khazanah."

President and Group CEO of Axiata Jamaludin Ibrahim said, "Significant portfolio expansion as well as strong improvements in tenancies have led to robust business growth and as a result, edotco has been able to achieve a comparatively strong valuation in this placement exercise."

"We are determined to make edotco a world-class business and one of the world's largest independent tower companies by 2020. The successful placement exercise is yet another step - financially and symbolically - towards facilitating this aspiration," he added.

J P Morgan is the Sole Placement Agent in this transaction.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)