Wireless carrier Axiata's unit may seek KL listing

KUALA LUMPUR • Axiata Group, Malaysia's biggest wireless carrier, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of its tower unit that could raise at least US$500 million (S$664.4 million), people with knowledge of the matter said.

The firm has been speaking to potential advisers to explore a domestic listing of Edotco Group that could take place as soon as this year, according to the people. Axiata may invite banks to formally pitch for a role on the deal this quarter, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Malaysia hosted US$1.7 billion of first-time share sales last year, more than five times the amount raised in 2016, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

Edotco could join Edra, the country's second-biggest independent power producer, and Brunei's largest bank in seeking to list on the Kuala Lumpur bourse this year.

Deliberations are at an early stage, and Axiata could decide not to proceed with the IPO, according to one of the people. Representatives for Axiata and Edotco declined to comment.

Edotco raised US$700 million in a private placement last year from investors including Axiata's top shareholder, sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional, according to an April statement. 

Malaysia's second-biggest pension fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan, also invested in Edotco through the deal, which reduced Axiata's stake to 62.4 per cent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2018, with the headline 'Wireless carrier Axiata's unit may seek KL listing'. Print Edition | Subscribe