Mar 30, 2023
Axiata’s Tower Arm Shortlists Bidders for $750 Million Stake Sale
(Bloomberg) -- CVC Capital Partners and I Squared Capital are among bidders shortlisted for a stake in Edotco Group Sdn., the wireless tower business of Malaysian telecommunications group Axiata Group Bhd., according to people familiar with the matter.
Stonepeak Partners and a consortium led by Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. were also picked to proceed to the next round of bidding, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The Mitsui-led group includes Japanese telecom operator KDDI Corp. and Jtower Inc., the people said.
Edotco is looking to raise as much as $750 million in the stake sale, according to the people. Existing shareholders, including Axiata, may tag along and sell down some of their stakes, potentially boosting the total share sale size to more than $1 billion, the people said.
The shortlisted bidders are conducting due diligence following a management presentation recently, the people said. The deadline for binding bids is around mid-May, one of them said.
Deliberations are ongoing and the bidders could decide to drop out, the people said. Representatives for Axiata, CVC, edotco and Mitsui declined to comment, while representatives for I Squared, Jtower, KDDI and Stonepeak didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Founded in 2012, Edotco operates and manages a portfolio of more than 54,000 towers across nine Asian nations including Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan and Myanmar, according to its website. Axiata is the controlling shareholder of Edotco, while other minority holders include Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd., Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Malaysian pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan Diperbadankan.
The company’s services range from tower leasing and co-location to operations and maintenance. It has expanded both organically and via mergers and acquisitions, including the purchase of around 3,000 towers in the Philippines from PLDT Inc. last year.
--With assistance from Grace Huang, Min Jeong Lee and Takahiko Hyuga.
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