Jamaludin allays concerns about monopoly post Digi-Celcom merger

PETALING JAYA: The proposed merger between Digi and Celcom in will not result in a monopoly, said Axiata president and group CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim (pix).

Speaking at a media briefing here today in conjunction with the proposed merger, he said although the merged entity would command more than 50% in the mobile space, the new entity as a converged player would only command one-third .

Jamaludin noted that the new entity would enable it to provide affordable pricing, better quality and better coverage to the consumers.

However, he could not guarantee lower prices post-merger.

Jamaludin explained that the proposed merger would provide stronger balance sheet of RM15 billion to RM20 billion with the listing of Celcom via injection into Digi.

Jamaludin said it will take two to three months to complete the signing and six to nine months to obtain all relevant approvals. The merged entity is expected to be established in the third quarter of 2020.

Speaking of why Bangladesh’s Robi is not involved in the proposed merger, he said it would create a monopoly in the market with about 80% market share.

Vodafone Idea in India is also excluded as the group is seeking to dispose of it.

Jamaludin gave the assurance that there will be no job cuts due to the proposed merger.

“If at all, it will be purely voluntary (via voluntary separation scheme and mutual separation scheme),” he said, adding that its major shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd has already given its blessing to proceed with merger discussions.

Khazanah holds a 37.14% stake in Axiata, followed by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (18.42%) and the Employees Provident Fund (16.36%).

Telenor president and CEO Sigve Brekke said board representation on the new entity will reflect the shareholding structure. Telenor is expected to appoint the CEO of the new entity. – by EVA YEONG

Source: The Sun Daily

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