Malaysia's Axiata, Dawood Hercules to Buy Telecom Towers in Pakistan for $940 Million

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's largest mobile-phone operator Axiata Group Bhd. (6888.KU) said on Wednesday it is partnering with Pakistani conglomerate Dawood Hercules Corp Ltd. (DAWH.KA) to buy telecom towers in the South Asian country for $940 million.

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Under the deal, Axiata's unit edotco and Dawood Hercules will buy 13,000 towers from Pakistan Mobile Communications Ltd., edotco Chief Executive Suresh Sidhu said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

The purchase will make edotco the eighth-largest independent tower company globally, up from the 11th currently, with a portfolio of approximately 40,000 towers across Asia.

The deal comes two months after edotco bought Pakistan's Tanzanite Tower Pte Ltd. for $90 million in a deal involving about 700 towers.

As part of the deal announced Wednesday, Dawood Hercules will take a 45% equity stake in edotco Pakistan Pte Ltd, with the remaining 55% controlling stake to be held by edotco.

The proposed acquisition will be funded through a combination of external local debt of $600 million and an equity split of $174 million by edotco and $166 million by Dawood Hercules for their respective stakes.

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Dawood Hercules, with a market capitalization of $600 million, is one of Pakistan's largest conglomerates with a varied business portfolio ranging from food to energy.

Axiata, which owns a 62.4% stake in edotco, has no immediate plans to conduct an initial public offering of edotco, Mr. Jamaludin added.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 30, 2017 05:28 ET (09:28 GMT)