Axiata expects 5 months for MCMC to review Celcom-Digi proposed merger 

by ASILA JALIL / graphic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD

THE proposed merger of Celcom Axiata Bhd and DiGi.Com Bhd is now pending Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) approval after merger plans have been submitted to the regulator in July. 

Axiata Group Bhd president and group CEO Datuk Mohd Izzaddin Idris said the company continues to engage with MCMC to provide clarifications when needed while the timeline for the due diligence depends on the regulator.

“MCMC will go through its process to look at public interest, probably even do a public inquiry.

“I do not know how long that would take but I think if we give ourselves a four-month or five-month timeframe, that should be a sufficient cushion,” he said during a virtual press briefing on its quarterly financial results recently.

He said both parties have addressed any possible concerns raised by the stakeholders involved in the industry such as consumers’ perspectives and competition to ensure the proposal is complete.

Mohd Izzaddin also noted, as of now, the group is not considering any other potential partner should the proposed merger does not materialise.

He added that both Celcom and Digi would remain as competitors while the merger is only at the proposal stage and they are not developing plans together.

“We are not allowed to compare notes or agree on certain strategies in our approach on certain markets as that would be anti-competitive and against the law.

“We are not strategising or preparing our marketing plans together with Digi. We remain competitors until such time when the deal is able to be completed and that is months down the road,” he said.

Axiata’s net profit surged 247.1% year-on-year (YoY) to RM277.76 million for its second quarter ended June 30, 2021 (2Q21), compared to RM80.02 million in 2Q20, helped by higher top lines and lower finance costs.

The group manage to lower costs based on lower borrowings and taxes incurred during the quarter.

Revenue for the quarter came in at RM6.39 billion, up by 10.3% YoY from RM5.79 billion in the same quarter last year.