(Bloomberg) -- Axiata Group Bhd. and Telenor ASA are nearing a deal to combine their mobile units in Malaysia, which could create the country’s largest wireless phone network operator, according to people familiar with the matter.
Axiata’s Celcom Networks Bhd. and Digi.com Bhd., in which Telenor holds a 49% stake, are set to be merged in a deal, which could be announced as soon as Thursday, the people said. A transaction could involve shares swap, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Talks are in advanced stage but they could still be delayed or fall apart, the people said. Representatives for Axiata, Celcom, Digi.com and Telenor declined to comment.
Axiata said it will hold a media briefing for a “significant announcement” at 2 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur after the company suspended its shares on Thursday. Trading in Digi.com is also halted, pending an announcement.
Celcom is the first mobile operator in Malaysia with a 4G network that covers 76% of Malaysia’s population, according to its website. Digi.com had a market value of about $7 billion before the trading halt.
(Updates Telenor’s comment in third paragraph.)
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