Advanced Info Service Plc (AIS) is reportedly planning to acquire Triple T Broadband Plc as well as an infrastructure fund for more than 32.4 billion baht (~USD 904 million) as part of its expansion plans.
In an exchange filing, AIS Chief Financial Officer, Tee Seeumpornroj, stated that the company would buy Triple T for 19.6 billion baht (~USD 546 million) from Jasmine International Plc, while also procuring a 19% stake or about 1.52 billion units of Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund for 12.95 billion baht (~USD 359 million).
At approximately 8.50 baht (USD .24) a unit, this represents a 10.5% discount on the closing price for the fund on Friday last week.
In an analyst call, Mr. Tee mentioned that the investment would be financed through debt while adding that by taking advantage of this acquisition, consumers can access a broader and better quality of service in new areas, such as the upcountry and non-urban areas.
This step is expected to elevate the growth of the business and enhance the national fiber infrastructure.
Given its adequate deficit headroom, AIS, which has Temasek Holdings Pte as a major shareholder, stated that it would fund the acquisitions with loan and committed to maintain a dividend payout of approximately 70% of its net income.
As per reports, Telenor ASA is merging its Thai telecoms unit with True Corp in an attempt to bring down Advanced Info as one of the biggest mobile operators in the country. While True Corp is backed by China Mobile Ltd and Charoen Pokphand Group, owned by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, AIS is backed by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi.
According to AIS, the deal is subjected to regulatory approval and may close in the first quarter of next year.
Last Friday, on expectations of the takeover, Maybank had upgraded AIS’ rating to “buy” with 230 baht (USD 6.43) as its target price. Analyst, Wasu Mattanapotchanart from Maybank stated that the Singtel associate has been exploring the possibility of acquiring Triple T Broadband since Q4 of 2021.
At 0900 GMT, Thai telecommunication shares were up, with AIS up 1.77% and True up 0.43%. DTAC and JAISF shares were down by 0.56% and 4.74% respectively, which is comparable with the 0.67% drop in the benchmark index.