(Updated)

TIME dotCom plans special dividend of up to RM1b from sale of AIMS stake

TIME dotCom plans special dividend of up to RM1b from sale of AIMS stake
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): TIME dotCom Bhd (TDC) has entered a deal with US digital infrastructure firm DigitalBridge Group Inc to accelerate the expansion of its AIMS Group data centre business across Asia.

In a statement on Tuesday (Nov 22), TDC said the partnership with DigitalBridge is premised on bringing together a unique combination of two entities with distinctly different backgrounds — a focused telecommunications and data centre operator with assets across Asean, and a digital infrastructure investor that has enabled the growth of some of the most successful data centre and digital infrastructure companies around the world.

On the rationale for the agreement, TDC said following a strategic review of its data centre business in late-2021, the group found that there were significant opportunities in underserved markets across Asia.

It said aggressively pursuing these opportunities would require significant investments as well as a deep understanding of global trends in the space.

“We believe that DigitalBridge is the right partner as they are committed to building on AIMS’ heritage and capitalise on its strengths. We see this as a true partnership that will allow us to tap on their global experience in other markets,” said Afzal Abdul Rahim, TDC's commander-in-chief.

Meanwhile, DigitalBridge Managing Director and Head of Asia Justin Chang said AIMS operates some of the most strategic data centre assets in the ASEAN region.

“We are excited to have such a strong foundation to build a broader regional business focused on providing high quality interconnection and ecosystem facilities to our global customers.

"TDC has an impressive track record of building connectivity linked businesses across the ASEAN region and is the ideal partner for this endeavour," he said.

TDC said that as part of the strategic partnership, the overall AIMS business is being valued at an enterprise value of RM3.2 billion.

It said this compares to its current book value of RM240 million, and represents a significant gain since TDC first acquired AIMS in 2012 for RM119 million.

The company said the strategic partnership entails the immediate divestment by TDC of 49% of the ordinary shares and 100% of the irredeemable convertible preference shares in AIMS Data Centre Holding Sdn Bhd, as well as 21% of the ordinary shares in AIMS Data Centre (Thailand) Ltd.

It said the transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2023, subject to certain conditions precedent (including TDC's shareholder approval) being satisfied.

“This strategic partnership would allow us to crystallise substantial value from the investment we have made in AIMS over the years.

“Proceeds from the transaction of approximately RM2 billion will partly be used to pay a special dividend of up to RM1 billion to our shareholders, and the balance will be reinvested in the group to further grow shareholder value,” said Afzal.

Trading of the securities in TDC was halted for one hour from 9am to 10am on Tuesday.

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