Maxis advances 2.14% on potential merger talks in India

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 23): Shares of Maxis Bhd advanced 2.14% at mid-morning today after it was reported that Maxis Communications Bhd (MCB) was in non-binding, exclusive talks with India's fourth-biggest mobile phone network operator Reliance Communications Ltd for a potential merger of Aircel with Reliance's wireless business.

At 10.50am, Maxis rose 14 sen to RM6.69 with 306,300 shares done.

MCB holds a majority stake of 74% in Aircel, and Reliance is controlled by India's renowned billionaire Anil Ambani. MCB also holds a 65% stake in Bursa Malaysia-listed Maxis.

Quoting a statement from Reliance, Reuters reported yesterday that Reliance has entered into a 90-day exclusivity period with MCB and its joint-venture partner of Aircel, Sindya Securities and Investments Pvt Ltd.

The potential merger will exclude Reliance's tower and optical fibre assets for which a separate sale process is ongoing, Reuters reported.

The report also stated that any Maxis-Aircel deal will be subject to due diligence, documentation and regulation, as well as shareholders' and third party approvals.

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