Telenor has reduced its stake in Malaysian cellco DiGi.Com to 49% from 61% following the completion of a share placement to Malaysian investors that saw the Norwegian company raise MYR1.61 billion (USD478 million). In a statement, Telenor said it sold 10.2% of DiGi via a book-building exercise that began at noon yesterday and ended several hours later. By lowering its stake in DiGi, Telenor has now complied with Malaysia’s foreign equity ownership rules. The identity of the Malaysian investors is not known, but sources said TIME dotCom could now be the owner of a part of the 10.2%. Earlier this week TIME accepted a 3.5% stake in DiGi in exchange for its 3G spectrum.
At the same press conference, DiGi chief executive officer Morten Lundal said his company would launch 3G services by mid-2008. He said it would invest between MYR600 million to MYR800 million over a three-year period to deploy 3G infrastructure. Asked if the government would approve the transfer of the licence from TIME to DiGi, Lundal said: ‘We believe it would be looked at favourably.’ The 3G licence is valid till 2018.