September 18, 2018 / 2:25 AM / in a month

Unit of Malaysia's Axiata cancels Pakistan telecom tower deal

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The infrastructure unit of Malaysian telecommunications company Axiata Group Berhad has called off a $940 million deal to acquire a Pakistani telecoms tower company.

Axiata subsidiary edotco Group Sdn Bhd said in a statement on Monday that it will not proceed with the acquisition of Deodar, a unit of Pakistan Mobile Communications Ltd that owns 13,000 towers.

The deal, announced in August last year, would have made edotco the eighth-largest independent tower firm and the second-largest multi-country tower operator globally.

In a bourse filing early on Tuesday, when the Malaysian market reopened after a long weekend, Axiata said some sale conditions had not been met including regulatory approval for the resulting change of control in Deodar.

Axiata’s shares dropped as much as 2.4 percent when it resumed trading after an hour-long halt on Tuesday morning.

edotco said it remains committed to Pakistan and will continue to grow its business under its Pakistan unit, Tanzanite Tower, comprising the towers acquired earlier this year.

“We continue to develop our pipeline of opportunities into Pakistan as well as into other markets in South and Southeast Asia and are confident we will be able to meet our goals for business growth,” Chief Executive Office Suresh Sidhu said.

edotco operates and manages a regional portfolio of over 28,000 towers in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates

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