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TIME dotCom to acquire 49% of Symphony, a fixed line provider in Thailand

TIME dotCom Berhad announced that it has submitted a strategic investment proposal to the Board of Directors of Symphony Communication Public Company Limited, one of the fixed-line telecommunication service providers in Thailand.

The investment by TIME dotCom, which is subject to receiving relevant shareholder and regulatory approvals, would be up to THB 2.2 billion (approximately RM280 million) and would provide TIME with a shareholding of up to 49% in Symphony. TIME said it received a statement of support from existing shareholders of Symphony who hold approximately 47% of the shares.

The investment would be accomplished in two phases. In the first, TIME dotCom would acquire shares at THB 12.20 per share from existing shareholders through a Partial Voluntary Tender Offer (“PVTO”) for 37% (THB 1.468 billion) of the shares outstanding.  In the second phase, following completion of the PVTO, TIME would participate in a Rights Offering (“RO”) of approximately THB 1.0 billion to be launched by Symphony and priced at up to THB 8.80 per share. The overall transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Symphony is listed in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) since 2010, with a current market capitalization of THB 3,872 million, as of March 6, 2017. Symphony offers various domestic services, including internet access, private network, digital broadcast, local loop for international, access network, etc., as well as international services via its international private leased circuits and submarine cable, which will be ready for service in the middle of the year 2017.

Symphony is also involve in the international submarine cable network system named Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand (MCT) Submarine Cable System which is a joint investment project of telecom operators from Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand that has span of approximately 1,300 kilometers. The cable landing station named Moalee is established in Rayong province. The project is expected to be completed and ready for service in middle of the year 2017 in order to generate higher efficient communication of future need at lower cost in long run.

In the financial year ended 31 December 2016, Symphony generated revenues of THB 1,388.7 million, EBITDA of THB 636.5 million (EBITDA margin of 45.8%), and net profit of THB 99.4 million (net profit margin of 7.2%).

Afzal Abdul Rahim, Commander-in-Chief of TIME dotCom, commented that “TIME has long been an admirer of Symphony’s success and we are delighted to now be able to cement our partnership by proposing this strategic investment. We are very encouraged by the potential of the Thai market, especially given the launch of the Digital Economy Masterplan and the development of the ASEAN Economic Community, and look forward to working with the team at Symphony to grow the company to the next level.”

The funds raised in the RO will be used to expand and strengthen Symphony’s nationwide fibre optic network and launch new products and services.

Symphony would be TIME’s second investment in Thailand, following the acquisition of a stake in KIRZ Company Limited (“KIRZ”) in 2015.

TIME also currently holds a 45.27% stake in CMC Telecommunications Infrastructure Corporation, a fast expanding network and data centre operator in Vietnam, and is nearing roll-out completion of its pan-island fibre optic network in Singapore.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy