It could be for some (sinister) reasons to have this news to circulate. It is a fact that all our media and telcos owned by UMNO and cronies as well as GLCs (Telekom - Celcom).
If Ananda's Maxis merges with Ananda's Astro, it is something not impossible. The combined asset worth would be RM20 billions. Bigger than some states. Even as per now, Maxis makes millions out of Astro's stupid Akademi Fantasia.
Not sure whether Media Prima would make its move....could be partnering with Telekom or buying another telco? Media Prima is the only RTM's competitor with 4 TV channels but as with Telekom has no pay TV and satellite.
However, MEASAT is also owned by Ananda.....
Will we see a mega telco-broadcaster soon?
Comment by B.K. Sidhu
IS a merger between Maxis Communications Bhd and Astro All Asia Networks plc – possible or the news is merely speculation to drive up the stock price of the pay-TV company?
This piece of news is also not entirely new. It has been floating around the market place for a long time and the winds are blowing again.
Astro yesterday said they “do not comment on market speculation”.
Maxis in a statement added that its board was not aware of any such proposal and considers the report by OSK Research as “totally without basis and to be speculative”.
Yesterday, OSK Research wrote in its report that a major corporate exercise may be brewing and the pitch may be for a re-listing of Maxis via Astro.
OSK could not confirm the merger plans when it wrote the report.
If indeed the merger plan is true, OSK says it will create a company with combined revenue and net profit of RM11bil and RM2.2bil (based on FY09 for Astro and historical numbers for Maxis).
This would make it the largest listed telco quadruple play exposure in the country with a mobile and pay-TV subscriber base exceeding 11 million and 2.6 million respectively, and an estimated asset base of over RM20bil.
Regardless of what the two companies said, at a glance if indeed the news is true, it looks good as it will see the creation of a mega telco/broadcaster that can pit against Singapore’s StarHub and SingTel.
Both the Singapore companies have “embraced the quad play strategy with a combination of the cellular, broadband, fixed-line and pay-tv businesses’’ while the telcos here are still scrambling to be close to that.
One aspirant is Telekom Malaysia Bhd which wants to enter the broadcasting world when its high speed broadband network is up and running and if it does get its strategy right, it can be a keen competitor to Astro pay-TV.
Quad play is all about cross selling of products and services across multiple platforms and being able to bundle services to retain customers.
Maxis has a fixed line licence and a vast cellular network, amongst other things. Astro has a satellite TV network and when combined these two can really be a big player offering telephony and video content via multiple platforms.
The fight of the future is for customer’s loyalty and those companies who can provide what the consumer wants will get to retain them.
But timing wise, some experts do not think it is a good time to merge as the valuations would be low. But knowing how low profile business tycoon T. Ananda Krishnan (who is common shareholder of Astro and Maxis) - works, he never fails to amaze people when they least expect it. He did surprise the market place with the swift de-listing of Maxis in 2007.
It is an interesting concept if it is true, but let’s wait and see what Ananda has up his sleeves this time around, or does he not!