Telenor, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Telenor Asia Pte. Ltd., today announced that it is seeking to increase its shareholdings in DiGi.Com Berhad ("DiGi"). Telenor presently holds 247 million ordinary shares in DiGi, or approximately 32.9 percent. Telenor has informed the Board of Directors of DiGi of its intention to make a Voluntary Partial Take-over Offer for up to a maximum of 210.5 million additional shares, increasing its total ownership in DiGi to 61 percent, the current maximum foreign ownership allowed by Malaysian authorities.
The partial offer was approved by the Securities Commission of Malaysia on June 20, 2001.
Under the terms of the offer, Telenor will offer to all holders of the remaining 503 million DiGi shares a cash consideration of RM 6.60 per share for up to 210.5 million shares.
The partial tender offer is conditional on Telenor receiving tenders such that it will hold at least 375,000,001 DiGi shares, representing more than 50 percent, at the completion of the offer. If upon completion of the offer Telenor holds 50 percent plus one share or 61 percent, the investment amounts to approx. USD 222 million or USD 365 million respectively. Following the offer, Telenor intends to maintain the public listing status of DiGi on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE: DIGI).
Telenor is seeking to increase its long-term interest in the Malaysian mobile market through the partial tender offer for DiGi shares. The company is a full-service mobile telecommunications operator in Malaysia, with more than one million mobile subscribers on its GSM1800 network by the end of March 2001. Telenor intends to develop the company’s business further and strengthen DiGi’s market position.
“We are very pleased to announce our intentions of increasing our investment in DiGi. We made our initial investment in December 1999 and have come to learn the market and the company as very promising,” says Arve Johansen, CEO of Telenor Mobile Communications. “There is an exciting growth potential in the Malaysian market. We expect DiGi to continue to create value for its shareholders and we hope to contribute to the value creation by leveraging our comprehensive expertise from mobile operations throughout Europe and Asia.”
The offer is subject to approvals from authorities in Malaysia and from DiGi’s shareholders.
Salomon Smith Barney and Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank are acting as financial advisors to Telenor on this transaction.
Telenor ASA is an international provider of high quality telecommunications, data and media communication services, with a particularly strong focus on mobile, Internet and broadband services. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, the company is present in over 30 countries, with revenues of NOK 37.6 billion (US$4.3 billion) in 2000. Internationally, Telenor continues to target investments within mobile, Internet, TV-distribution and satellite communications, constantly providing its worldwide customers with leading-edge solutions at competitive prices. Telenor ASA is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (TEL) and Nasdaq in New York (TELN).
Telenor Mobile Communications (“TMC”)
is the mobile business area of Telenor, offering voice, data, Internet, e-commerce and content services. TMC is one of the world’s most advanced mobile operators with a leading position in the Norwegian market and with ownership in 14 mobile companies throughout the world. TMC’s total number of subscribers as of year end 2000 was approximately 5.9 million – 2.3 million in Norway and 3.6 million abroad – calculated on an equity basis.
DiGi.Com is a leading telecommunications service provider in Malaysia with a full range of telecommunications-related licenses. DiGi.Com is Malaysia’s market leader in pre-paid services, the fastest growing segment in Malaysia’s mobile market. DiGi.Com had revenues of RM652 million (US$172 million) in 2000, with total subscribers of 1.03 million at the end of March 2001. Formerly known as DiGi Swisscom and Mutiara Swisscom, DiGi.Com is listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.
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