Axiata denies offer from China Mobile

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Malaysia-based Axiata Group has denied reports that China Mobile is seeking to purchase a stake in the operator group.

Axiata group CEO Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim told Malaysia's Daily Express that nobody at China Mobile has approached the company with an offer.

Earlier this month, sources told Bloomberg that China Mobile is interested in buying up to 20% of Axiata Group, but that Axiata rebuffed the offer because it considered the bid to be too low.

Based on market prices at the time, a 20% stake in Axiata would be worth around $3.7 billion, which would have been China Mobile's largest investment outside its home market.

But besides not being approached, Jamaludin said that the company does not need any kind of investment or cash at the group level in any event.

He added that the company has no plan so far to sell its fiber business in Pakistan even though it is not part of Axiata Group's core mobile operations.

Fiber is an important part of Axiata's business, Jamaludin said, and owning the infrastructure could pave the way for more business opportunities in Pakistan.

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