Malaysia-based Axiata Group has sold another 10 percent stake in its Cambodian subsidiary Smart Axiata to Japanese group Mitsui Co Ltd. The Japanese firm now holds 20 percent of the local telecommunications giant.
In May last year, it sold 10 percent of Smart to Mitsui Co. That stake was valued at $66 million, and Mitsui reserved the right to purchase another 10 percent of the firm within a year.
The latest sale has reduced Axiata’s majority interest in Smart Axiata from 82.5 percent to 72.5 percent, with Southern Coast Ventures owning the remaining 7.5 percent.
In a press release obtained by The Post on Wednesday, Smart Axiata said Mitsui’s additional stake in Smart will act as a catalyst to transform the Kingdom into a digital, knowledge and information-based society.
“Mitsui’s expertise in various digital portfolios will enable Smart to further strengthen its leadership and continue evolving its lifestyle and entertainment brand beyond being a traditional telecommunications player in Cambodia,” it says.
It adds that there will be no significant change in the company’s management, strategy, or operations after the deal.
Contacted yesterday, Cambodian Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Seang Thay said the deal did not require approval from the ministry, but the company needs to inform the government about shareholder updates.
Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia spokesman Im Vutha on Wednesday said he hadn’t received any information from the company about the new shareholders, but he said he thought Mitsui should have a positive impact on the industry.
“We hope that with stronger financial support, the telecommunications operator will strengthen the quality of its service for the benefit of Cambodians,” he said.