Axiata and Telenor completed the merger of their units in Malaysia with both companies taking a 33.10% stake in the newly formed Celcom Digi.
In a joint statement, the companies claimed Celcom Digi will be the largest locally listed technology company on the Malaysian stock exchange, with 20 million customers, surpassing closest rival Maxis which had 11.9 million mobile customers according to its Q3 results.
Celcom Digi will have combined revenues of MYR13 billion (US$2.9 billion) and an EBITDA of around MYR8 billion. The companies said the merger is still expected to produce synergies of MYR8 billion.
In immediate plans, Celcom Digi will invest MYR250 million over the next five years to build a world-class innovation centre in Kuala Lumpur, to catalyse developments in IoT, AI, cloud computing and 5G.
Aside from Axiata and Telenor, other investors of Celcom Digi included the Employees Provident Fund, Permodalan Nasional Berhad and the Retirement Fund.
The merger was announced in June 2021 and saw significant delays due to regulatory demands. The boards of both companies recently gave approval to the merger.
Axiata Group Berhad 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, IoT, 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.”
Telenor head of Asia and executive VP Jorgen Arentz Rostrup added: “Telenor is committed to be an active owner, bringing technology know-how, experience across international markets and global partnerships with industry giants to Celcom Digi.”