TM to sell 2.27% stake in Axiata

Dylan Bushell-Embling
03 Dec 2010

Telekom Malaysia (TM) is moving to divest a 2.27% stake in former subsidiary Axiata, and has hinted it could make over $275 million for the sale.

TM's wholly-owned unit TM ESOS Management will dispose its entire holding of 191.5 million Axiata shares on-market and through private placements, the company announced.

Based on Axiata's share price in the five days up until December 1, the sale could be worth 879.4 million ringgit ($278.9m).

TM's investment in the shares was valued at 434.7 million ringgit, so a sale at this price would more than double this.

TM ESOS Management was left with 137.2 million shares in Axiata after the company – then known as Telekom Malaysia International - was spun off as a regional mobile player in 2008, and has since purchased more in a rights issue.

The shares are being divested as part of TM's move to dispose its non-core assets, the company said. Part of the proceeds may be used to pursue new acquisitions that would augment its main operations.

TM ESOS Management was a trustee for Telecom Malaysia's previous employee share option scheme, which expired in September. The Axiata shares being sold are those left unexercised under the scheme.

TM expects to complete the initial placement within two weeks, and depending on demand may or may not sell the entire stake at this time. If market conditions don't allow this, the company will push to divest the entire holding over the next 12 months.

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