Celcom and Digi merger completed

The aim is to catalyse the IR4.0 digital transformation and strengthen the local ecosystem through the adoption of IoT, AI, cloud computing and 5G

AXIATA Group Bhd, Telenor Asia Pte Ltd and Digi.com Bhd today announced the completion of the merger of the telco operations of Celcom Axiata Bhd and Digi.

With this, Axiata and Telenor will both hold equal ownership in Celcom-Digi at 33.1% each. 

On completion, Axiata received newly-issued Digi shares representing 33.1% of the enlarged share capital of Digi, and a cash consideration of RM2.5 billion funded by Digi and to be assumed by the merged entity. Digi also issued shares to Telenor to reach equal ownership following Telenor’s payment of 300 million to Axiata. 

“In driving the consolidation process, the parties move purposefully to form a world-class Malaysian digital telco that will contribute significantly towards the growth of the country’s digital ecosystem and economy,” Axiata said in a press release today.

Celcom-Digi will be the largest local listed technology company on Bursa Malaysia.

On a pro forma basis for the financial year 2021, Celcom-Digi will serve an estimated 20 million customers, with revenues of RM13 billion, and an Ebitda of around RM5.8 billion.

“The company remains committed to the previous announced synergy target of RM8 billion,” it said.

Through the combination of scale, competencies, financial strengths, and experiences in serving the diverse needs of Malaysian consumers, it said, Celcom-Digi presents a solid proposition to propel the nation’s transition towards a digitally enabled high-income society. 

Axiata Group chairman Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said Celcom-Digi is strategically poised to invest in network expansion and support the growth of Malaysia’s digital ecosystem.

“We are also heartened at the role this tech giant can play in spurring talent development here in our very own backyard, as Malaysia charts advancements in 5G innovations, automation, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber resilience, among others.

“Moving forward, I am confident that Celcom-Digi — backed by the global experiences, excellent governance standards and financial strengths of Axiata and Telenor as shareholders, is well placed to serve Malaysian consumers and enterprises seeking to step up on digital competitiveness in the current era,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Telenor executive VP and head of Asia Jørgen C Arentz Rostrup said by combining the strengths of two well-loved local telco brands, the new company can enhance customer satisfaction and provide a broader platform to serve the growing needs of Malaysian SMEs and large enterprises. 

As part of its nation-building efforts, Celcom-Digi will also invest up to RM250 million over five years in building a world-class Innovation Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

The aim is to catalyse the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) digital transformation and strengthen the local ecosystem through the adoption of IoT, AI, cloud computing and 5G. Bridging the digital divide in rural areas to spur greater socio-economic participation will be a priority. 

In addition to Axiata and Telenor, Malaysian institutional investors such as the Employees Provident Fund, Permodalan Nasional Bhd and the Retirement Fund (Inc) among others are also shareholders of the new company. — TMR / graphic by TMR