Axiata Said to Plan $500 Million IPO of Towers in Malaysia

Axiata Group Bhd., Malaysia’s largest mobile-phone operator by market value, plans to raise at least $500 million in an initial public offering of its telecommunications tower assets, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Axiata is working with CIMB Group Holdings Bhd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on the IPO, which may take place next year in Kuala Lumpur, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.

Kuala Lumpur-based Axiata is evaluating a bid for PT Axis Telekom Indonesia as competition for cell-phone subscribers in that country intensifies, people familiar with the matter said in May. The company last year canceled a plan to sell 7,000 telecom towers in Indonesia, citing a lack of interest.

Malaysia hasn’t hosted an IPO of more than $500 million since Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. raised $1.5 billion in October last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. UMW Oil & Gas Corp. said in July that it was planning to sell about 2.36 billion ringgit ($729 million) of shares in an IPO by the fourth quarter.

Axiata declined to comment in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News today.

The group plans to spin off its tower assets in seven countries into a single entity with a market value of 8 billion ringgit to 10 billion ringgit, Focus Malaysia newspaper reported in February.

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