CVC Is Said to Near Myanmar’s Second-Biggest Deal Ever

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is nearing an agreement to buy Myanmar’s biggest telecommunications tower company for close to $700 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The buyout firm could sign a deal to acquire Irrawaddy Green Towers Ltd. as soon as next week, said the people, who asked not to be named as the information is confidential. CVC is talking to bankers to secure financing for the deal, the people said.

Deliberations are ongoing and the parties could decide not to proceed with a transaction, said the people. A representative for CVC declined to comment. Irrawaddy Green did not respond to calls and emailed requests for comment.

If successful, the deal would be Myanmar’s second-biggest on record. The largest was the $742 million acquisition of a 75% stake in the Myanmar Distillery group by a unit of Thai Beverage PCL in 2017.

The potential Irrawaddy Green transaction would add to the $779.1 billion worth of pending and completed mergers and acquisitions in Asia Pacific so far this year, which is nearly 18% higher than the same period in 2019, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Deals in the telecommunications sector have been a bright spot globally, accounting for $184.5 billion worth of M&A in the year to date, a 60.4% rise from 2019. They include Cellnex Telecom SA’s $11.8 billion deal to acquire CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s European towers assets earlier this month.

Along with CVC, Chinese wireless infrastructure company Guodong Group and Malaysia’s largest wireless operator Axiata Group Bhd.’s unit edotco Group Sdn. were among the shortlisted bidders, Bloomberg News reported in May.

Irrawaddy Green, founded in 2014, serves major operators in Myanmar including Norway’s Telenor ASA and Qatar’s Ooredoo Group, according to its website. The Myanmar firm is owned by Singapore-based Irrawaddy Towers Asset Holding Pte, which is backed by Dubai-based Blu Stone Management and Lebanon-based investment firm M1 Group.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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