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Axiata sells Myanmar telco towers for $150 million

Malaysian telco conglomerate Axiata Group AXIA.KL will dispose of its entire holding in Edotco Myanmar Ltd for $150 million, the company said late on Thursday, in a move signalling its exit from the telco tower business in Myanmar.

Axiata said edotco Investments (Labuan) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of its telco tower arm Edotco Group, had agreed to sell its entire 87.5% stake in Edotco Investments Singapore Pte Ltd, the sole shareholder of Edotco Myanmar.

The Kuala Lumpur-headquartered company did not disclose the identity of the buyer.

“Decision to exit Myanmar was made due to deteriorating macroeconomics and operating environments in Myanmar,” Axiata said.

Axiata’s Edotco Group entered Myanmar in 2015 by taking a controlling stake in the Myanmar tower company in a deal which gave it an enterprise value of $221 million, based on a statement by Axiata at the time.

Axiata said the capital from the proposed sale would be re-deployed to reduce debt in line with its commitment to maintaining a strong balance sheet and enhancing and enhancing shareholder value.

Axiata, backed by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional KHAZA.UL, has joined a list of big corporations withdrawing from Myanmar, with fashion retailers like H&M and Zara pulling out of the country last year.

Qatari telecom group Ooredoo ORDS.QA sold its Myanmar business in 2022.

Oil majors TotalEnergies and Chevron announced their exits in 2022.

A military coup in February 2021 plunged Myanmar into a political and humanitarian crisis, with widespread violence also disrupting the economy. Reuters

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