Digi-Celcom merger to drive digitalisation

MergeCo will be well-placed to drive 5G solutions, catalyse new growth opportunities for large enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and attract and partner with global digital giants in support of the JENDELA and MyDigital aspirations.

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd (Axiata) and Digi.Com Bhd are looking forward to realising the potential of the proposed merger company (MergeCo) in terms of strengthening the capacity to drive digitalisation for consumers, businesses, the partner ecosystem and the development of local talent.

In a joint statement yesterday, both parties said MergeCo will provide better network quality and coverage as it will be primed to invest in network expansion to support the growing demand for data and digitalisation.

MergeCo will be well-placed to drive 5G solutions, catalyse new growth opportunities for large enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and attract and partner with global digital giants in support of the JENDELA and MyDigital aspirations.

“MergeCo will also leverage the combined economies of scale to deliver benefits to customers through strengthened core distribution, improved network operations, and efficiencies realised from operational activities,” they said.

In further unlocking the nation’s digital potential, the parties said MergeCo has proposed to invest up to RM250 million over five years to build a world-class innovation centre in Kuala Lumpur to keep Malaysia at the forefront of the global digital revolution.

The innovation centre will be pivotal in advancing extensive research and development leveraging 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology.

Axiata chairman, Tan Sri Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said delivering improved network and connectivity for their customers is clearly imperative.

“As two companies with a strong track record in contributing towards nation-building, we are also excited about the digital inclusion and growth opportunities that MergeCo and the proposed innovation centre will catalyse,” he said.

Digi’s chair of the board of directors, Haakon Bruaset Kjoel said the parties will now focus on completing the remaining steps to conclude the merger and work on delivering a seamless integration programme to bring the vision and value of the merged entity to reality.

Meanwhile, Telenor Asia executive vice-president and head, Jørgen Arentz Rostrup said both parties have reached a positive milestone in the Malaysian merger process with the regulatory clearance from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“With the proposed structural moves in Thailand and Malaysia, Telenor has a clear ambition to create future-fit companies that can better support ambitious national digital aspirations and bring new, advanced services to consumers across the region,” he said.

Earlier this morning, MCMC announced that it has approved the proposed merger between Digi and Celcom after a substantive assessment of the proposed merger application and due consideration of Axiata’s and Digi’s response to MCMC’s Statement of Issues in April 2022.

The completion of the proposed merger will now be subject to the approval from the Securities Commission, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, Axiata and Digi shareholders, and fulfilment of other customary terms and conditions.

The proposed merger is expected to be completed within the second half of this year.

“Upon completion, Axiata and Telenor will hold equal ownership of 33.1 per cent each in the newly merged company, which will be named Celcom Digi Bhd, and will continue to be listed on Bursa Malaysia,” the parties added.

At 11 am, Digi’s shares were up by 15 sen to RM3.40 with 2.07 million shares traded, while Axiata’s shares rose by 13 sen to RM2.94 with 1.10 million units changing hands. – Bernama

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