Dialog Axiata to buy Suntel for $34m

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Dec 2011

Sri Lanka's Dialog Axiata has announced a $34 million acquisition to bolster its fixed wireless business.

The operator, a subsidiary of Malaysia's Axiata Group, has arranged to purchase fixed access service provider Suntel, Lanka Business Online said.

The purchase will be made by Dialog Axiata's broadband unit - Dialog Broadband - from Suntel's owner, Sweden's Overseas Telecom.

Suntel is believed to have been looking for a buyer for some time, partly as a result of mounting debt. A number of companies - also including Sri Lanka Telecom and India's MTNL - had been vying to acquire the unit, according to the Daily Mirror,

Dialog Axiata expects the merger to create Sri Lanka's second largest fixed access provider by customers, with a 23% share of the market.

Sri Lanka's current fixed-line incumbent is Sri Lanka Telecom. Dialog Axiata is meanwhile the largest mobile operator, with over 6.4 million subscribers.

The deal still requires due diligence to proceed. This is not the first time Dialog Axiata has attempted to acquire Suntel, but previous attempts had stalled due to delays receiving regulatory approval.

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