Axiata to sell USD700 million in stakes in 3 affiliates


KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd plans to trim stakes in some of its overseas operations in deals that could raise as much as USD700 million.

Quoting people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said Axiata was looking for a buyer for about 11 per cent of Indonesian unit PT XL Axiata, which has a market value of USD2.2 billion.

It also wants to sell as much as 30 per cent each of listed Sri Lanka unit Dialog Axiata Plc and Cambodian subsidiary Smart Axiata Co, according to a Bloomberg report.

Axiata owns 83.3 per cent of Dialog Axiata in Sri Lanka, 95.3 per cent of Cambodian subsidiary Smart Axiata, and 66.4 per cent of its Indonesian unit XL Axiata.

Total debt at Axiata has risen 55 per cent since the end of 2014 to reach RM21.5 billion (USD5.2 billion) at the end of June, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Axiata, which has interests in 10 countries across Asia, is expected to use part of the proceeds from the divestments to cut borrowings.

The report quoted Axiata as saying, in an emailed statement, that it continuously reviewed various strategic options to enhance shareholders’ value.

Since the middle of last year Axiata has been exploring options including rebalancing its portfolio and reviewing its shareholdings across subsidiaries, according to the statement.