Shares of Axiata and Digi surge on merger talks announcement

by ASILA JALIL / pic by TMR FILE 

PROFIT-seeking investors took advantage of Axiata Group Bhd and Digi.Com following the merger talks between the two telco companies.

At the time of writing, Axiata’s shares increased 38 sen or 10% and to RM4.18, valuing the company at RM38.34 billion.

Digi’s share price rose 71 sen or 18.93% to RM4.46 as at 12.30 pm, bringing the company’s market capitalisation to RM34.68 billion.

Axiata and Digi shares were valued at RM3.80 and 3.75 yesterday before tradings were suspended for the companies prior to the merger announcement.

 announced that they were in advanced discussions to form the largest mobile operator which will be known as Celcom Digi Bhd.

Both parties will have equal ownership estimated at 33.1% each in the merged entity referred to as MergeCo, with Axiata and other local institutional funds holding over 51% in the combined entity.

The move comes two years after Axiata and Telenor had planned for a merger to consolidate their operations in Asia.

The plan however fell through after four months of negotiation due to “some complexities”

Axiata president and CEO Datuk Izzaddin Idris will hold the chairman position of the merged entity, while Executive VP and head of Telenor Asia Jørgen C Arentz Rostrup will assume the vice-chairman role. Celcom CEO Mohamad Idham Nawawi will be the CEO with a deputy role filled by Albern Murty.