Axiata, Telenor in merger talks to create telecoms giant

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad says it is in talks with Norway’s Telenor ASA to merge their Asian operations to create one of the world’s top telecommunications giants with some 300 million customers in nine countries.

Axiata said in a statement Monday that Telenor is expected to hold a 56.5 percent stake and Axiata 43.5 percent in the proposed “merger of equals.”

Both companies operate in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Axiata also has a presence in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia and Indonesia. It says its Bangladesh operation would be excluded.

Annual sales for the merged company are estimated at $12 billion, with earnings of over $4.8 billion.

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Axiata said the merged company could potentially be one of the world’s top five mobile infrastructure players.

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