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Singapore Telecommunications Limited is engaged in the operation and provision of telecommunication systems and services, and investment holding. SingTel has three segments: Singapore; Australia, and Associates & Joint Ventures. In November 2011, it incorporated SSBI Pte. Ltd. in Singapore. In January 2012, it liquidated eight subsidiaries. In March 2012, it formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Acorn Acquisition Corp. In April 2012, it incorporated SingTel Digital L!fe Pte. Ltd. and SingTel Mobile Marketing Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, as well as a wholly owned subsidiary in Delaware, United States, which include SingTel Mobile Marketing, Inc., STDL Pte. Ltd. and STMM Pte. Ltd. In April 2012, it divested its entire 3.98% equity interest in Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Ltd.

  • Market News
UPDATE 3-Norway's Telenor and Malaysia's Axiata pull plug on Asian telecom tie-up
6 September 2019
source: reuters.com
    * Joint venture would have had 300 mln customers
    * Shares in Telenor down 4%
    * Shares in Axiata suspended before announcement
    * Axiata CEO says "surprised" about deal's collapse

 (Adds quotes by Axiata CEO)
    By Gwladys Fouche and Liz Lee
    OSLO/KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Telenor  TEL.OL  and
Malaysia's Axiata Group  AXIA.KL  have ended talks to create a
telecoms joint venture with nearly 300 million customers across
South Asia and Southeast Asia in a blow to the Norwegian group's
growth strategy and shares.
    Shares in Telenor, which has expanded in Asia in pursuit of
growth outside its mature home market in Scandinavia, fell on
Friday's announcement by the two companies that talks were over.
    "This removes the prospect for $5 billion of potential deal
synergies," brokerage Jefferies said in a research note.
    Telenor sold its central European operations last year as it
seeks to focus on its Nordic and Asian businesses.
    The proposed non-cash combination of Telenor's telecom and
infrastructure assets in Asia with Axiata's would have had
operations in nine countries including Thailand, Malaysia,
Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia, with a total population of
nearly 1 billion people.
    Failure of the talks also highlights the difficulty of
merging phone operators around the world and the growing
problems it presents for investors.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N25X22Q
    The joint venture would have competed with firms such as
Singapore Telecommunications  STEL.SI  and created an entity
worth $40 billion including debt, a person with knowledge of the
matter told Reuters in May when the talks were first announced.
    Telenor said in a statement that both parties had agreed to
end the discussions "due to some complexities involved in the
proposed transaction", without giving further details of what
had scuppered plans for the largest such cross-border deal in
Asia, excluding China and Japan.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N22I0KB 
    However, Telenor left the door open to a deal with Axiata,
saying both companies "still acknowledge the strong strategic
rationale" of the combination and "do not rule out that a future
transaction could be possible."
    Axiata President and Chief Executive Jamaludin Ibrahim said
later on Friday that the company was "surprised" by the collapse
of the planned deal. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N25X31B
    "We know that this has come as a surprise for most of you,
and for us too, actually," he told a conference call with
    Shares in Telenor were down 4.2% at 0931 GMT, lagging a flat
European STOXX 600 Telecoms index  .SXKP . Axiata shares were
trading up 2.3% before being halted, pending the news.
    "It has been a theme among investors that this deal could
have created fair amount of value," said Stefan Billing, analyst
at Kepler Cheuvreux.
    "Telenor and Axiata have been talking about synergies, and
there has also been expectations on a high valuation of the
planned listing, so it's natural that there is a bit of
disappointment initially."
    The Norwegian mobile operator was to have owned a 56.5%
stake and Axiata the remaining 43.5% with no cash changing
hands, the companies had previously said.
    "The Board acknowledges the strong strategic rationale of
the proposed transaction and is equally cognizant of the level
of complexity of such a deal," Axiata Chairman Ghazzali Sheikh
Abdul Khalid said in a statement, only days after the Malaysian
company said the deal was on track.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N25O2ZZ
    Axiata was not immediately available for comment on Friday,
while Telenor declined further comment. 

    Control of the combined entity and job cuts could have been
the main sticking points, particularly for the Malaysian
government, whose sovereign wealth fund Khazanah owns a 37%
stake in Axiata.
    "Malaysian government-linked corporations usually want more
control and that's no different with Axiata. But would Telenor
let go?" a telecoms analyst in Kuala Lumpur said, declining to
be named as he was talking about the government.    
    In March, the fund, which has housed Axiata in its
commercial portfolio, announced a new strategy under which it
will look to trim stakes in non-strategic assets to improve
returns to the government.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N20S0W3   
    "(Malaysian Prime Minister) Mahathir (Mohamad) was also
clear to say the government did not want any retrenchment in the
cost rationalization," said the analyst. 
    "In any merger, there is always cost rationalization, and
the first thing is chopping headcount. If the company is not
allowed that, what's the point of the exercise?"

BREAKING VIEWS-Southeast Asia joins global telecom M&A hang-up  
 (Additional reporting by Krishna Das in Kuala Lumpur and
Victoria Klesty in Oslo; editing by Jason Neely and Alexander
 ((gwladys.fouche@tr.com; +47 23 31 65 94; Reuters Messaging:
gwladys.fouche.reuters.com@reuters.net; Twitter handle:
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