Kathmandu, December 21. TeliaSonera has agreed to sell its 60.4 per cent ownership in the Nepali operator Ncell to Axiata, one of Asia’s largest telecommunication groups, for $1,030 million on a cash and debt free basis. At the same time, TeliaSonera will dissolve its economic interests in the 20 per cent local ownership and receives approximately $48 million. The transactions are conditional on each other.
“In September, we announced our ambition to reduce our presence in our seven Eurasian markets and focus on our operations in the Nordics and Baltics, within the strategy of creating the new TeliaSonera. Today, I am very pleased to announce a first step and proof point in this reshaping of TeliaSonera. I am also glad to see Axiata as a new owner. That gives me comfort that our dedicated employees are in good hands when taking Ncell to the next level,” says Johan Dennelind, TeliaSonera’s President and CEO.
Axiata has more than 260 million customers and 25,000 employees. Ncell will complement its portfolio of Asian telecommunications assets, which includes operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Singapore and Pakistan. Axiata, which is listed on the Malaysian stock exchange, is a reputable company with a strong focus and expertise in South Asia and is also a long-term investor contributing to development and advancements of the countries it operates in.
The divestment comprises of two transactions which are conditional on each other.