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Tower IPO on the cards for Axiata

Malaysian operator group Axiata is reportedly considering an IPO in Malaysia for its Indonesian towers, with the goal of generating at least $500 million.

The company has enlisted CIMB Group Holdings, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase to assist with the IPO, which is likely to take place next year. The group’s Indonesian operation, PT Axis Telecom Indonesia, has reportedly already attracted a bid as the market grows ever more competitive.

Axiata’s tower business has been something of a headache for the operator. Last April it failed to attract any buyers for 7000 Indonesian towers and was forced to cancel the sale; this was despite apparent interest from three local firms. A previous attempt to sell towers in 2008 was derailed by the global financial crisis.

The company has attempted to expand and unify its tower business across other markets, including India. In 2012 Axiata pitched the sale of 8000 towers to Indian mobile operator Idea Cellular, in which it holds a 20% stake.

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