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

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.

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.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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