"Celcom will meet June 30 deadline"

NST Thu, May 26, 2022 05:36pm - 1 month View Original

Axiata president and group chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said Celcom was evaluating the proposal through its advisor, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd. (NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH)

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd's subsidiary Celcom Axiata Bhd will be able to meet the government and Digital Nasional Bhd's (DNB) deadline for mobile network operators (MNOs) to sign up for the 5G network contracts and shares in the state 5G agency.

On Monday, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz reiteraterated the government's intention to stick to its June 30 deadline for the exercise.

Axiata president and group chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said Celcom was evaluating the proposal through its advisor, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd.

"Celcom has mapped out the proposal based on the process that has been mapped out by DNB. We are following that process and hopefully, we can make the announcement in due course. We are trying our best to meet the deadline that has been prescribed.

"We are making every effort to comply with the deadline and conditions that have been articulated by DNB and its advisor. So yes, Celcom will be able to meet the deadline," he told reporters after Axiata's 30th annual general meeting (AGM) here today.

When asked if Celcom was going to settle for the minority stake in the 5G project, Izaddin said there was a prescription on the proportion of the stake by DNB and was unable to disclose the details due to the binding non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

He added that currently, there were nine MNOs that had been invited to the process, including Celcom, DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd, Maxis Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd.

"We will see how this pans out," he added.

Last week, it was reported that the four telcos namely Celcom, DiGi, Maxis and U Mobile were seeking a majority stake in DNB. However, the proposal was rejected by the government.

Meanwhile, Axiata concluded its AGM with shareholders acknowledging the group's regional expansion plans aimed at driving sustainable value creation for its customers, employees and communities.

In January, Axiata, via its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Axiata Investments (Indonesia) Sdn Bhd (AII), and XL Axiata announced the signing of a conditional share purchase agreement to jointly acquire an aggregate 66.03 per cent equity interest in PT Link Net Tbk from Asia Link Dewa Pte Ltd and PT First Media Tbk.

At an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held following the AGM, Axiata's shareholders approved the acquisition and the proposed mandatory tender offer by AII to acquire all the remaining Link Net shares not owned by AII and XL Axiata, after the acquisition, bringing the deal closer to completion.

Izaddin said through the acquisition, Axiata sought to capitalise on the fast-growing fixed broadband market and enterprise market segments in Indonesia, as well as creating significant synergies for Link Net and XL Axiata through sharing of networks and extensive relationships with customers in Indonesia.

Axiata has also launched its net-zero carbon roadmap at the AGM press conference today.

The roadmap paves the path for the regional mobile telecommunications and digital conglomerate to achieve net-zero by no later than 2050 and sets the 2020 carbon emission baseline and intermediate 2030 target to reduce operational emissions by 45 per cent from the 2020 baseline.

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