Axiata accepts offer to sell stake in M1 for RM1.6 bil

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd, via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Axiata Investments (Singapore) Ltd, has accepted the voluntary conditional general offer made by Konnectivity Pte Ltd for its entire stake in M1 Ltd for a total cash consideration of RM1.65 billion.

The offer is at a premium price of S$2.06 per share based on terms stipulated in the offer documents dated Jan 7, 2019.

Axiata will effectively divest its 28.7% stake in M1, as well as exit its investment in Singapore with an estimated gain of RM126.5 million from this deal.

Axiata said it had made the decision to accept the offer due to the need for capital reallocation and new priorities in line with its vision to be the next generation digital champion by 2022 and the investments required to achieve that.

The group also prefers not to be a minority investor in a potentially privatised company, making the investment illiquid.

“It is actually not an easy decision for us. We like our investment in M1 and believe in its long-term future,” Axiata president and CEO Jamaludin Ibrahim said in a statement today.

At the same time, he added that Axiata would need to undertake a major reprioritisation and make better use of its capital to chart a new chapter for the group, while also further enhancing its shareholders’ value.

Axiata’s investment in M1 commenced in 2005 and the company had steadily contributed to the group’s growth over the years with dividends amounting to RM1.1 billion over the last 10 years.