Saudi Telecom pours $3b in Malaysian operator

Saudi Telecom announced that it will acquire a strategic 25% stake for $3.05 billion in Maxis Communications in a deal that will enable it to penetrate the lucrative telecommunications markets in Malaysia, Indonesia and India, a Malaysia-based Bernama news reported.

The Bernama report quoted Saudi Telecom, which entered into an agreement to form a strategic partnership with Binariang GSM, as saying that the deal is a major step to expand beyond its home market.

Binariang is the principal shareholder of Maxis, the integrated telecommunications operator, and its subsidiary PT Natrindo Telepon Seluler.

Recently, Maxis, owned by business tycoon Ananda Krishnan via his private company Usaha Tegas, announced that it will be taken private to be better placed to penetrate the markets in Indonesia and India, the Bernama report said.

On completion of the agreement, Saudi Telecom will have a 25% effective interest in Maxis and a 51% direct stake in NTS, Maxis' subsidiary in Indonesia, the report said.

Goldman Sachs International acted as exclusive financial adviser to the carrier, the report added.

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