SINGAPORE (December 21, 2015) – Morrison & Foerster is advising Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata), one of Asia’s largest telecommunications companies, on its acquisition of Nepal’s number one mobile operator, Ncell Private Limited (Ncell). Post-acquisition, Axiata will have a contiguous presence and reach in five key countries across South Asia.
Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Axiata Investments (UK) Limited, Axiata has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with TeliaSonera UTA Holdings B.V. and SEA Telecom Investments B.V. for the 100% acquisition of Reynolds Holdings Limited (Reynolds). The acquisition of Reynolds for the purchase price of US$1.365 billion plus customary adjustments at closing, effectively secures Axiata an 80% equity interest and controlling stake in Ncell.
Nepal is one of the emerging economies with steady GDP growth in Asia. With a mobile customer penetration of 51%, the country has experienced a mobile subscriber growth at an average of 18% over the last two years. Ncell is the number one operator in Nepal with a stronghold of close to 58% revenue market share and 49% subscriber market share.
The proposed acquisition is subject to the approval of Axiata shareholders and Bank Negara Malaysia amongst others. Subject to the conditions being obtained and approved, the transaction is expected to close by first half 2016.
For more information see Axiata’s press release.
Morrison & Foerster’s corporate deal team was led by Singapore partner Jake Robson and Singapore associate Robert Carlon, with support from London associate Mercedes Samavi, and London partner Trevor James on international tax issues.
Morrison & Foerster opened its Singapore office, the firm’s fifth in Asia, in early 2013 to support clients’ deepening commitments to South and Southeast Asia. Since that opening, the firm has worked on a number of major cross-border transactions originating in Singapore.