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Axiata to exit from Ncell and put up for sales

Axiata Group Berhad, a major Malaysian telecommunications giant, has decided to end its investment in the Nepali private telecom company, Ncell. The company has also decided to put all of Ncell’s assets for sales.

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The group took control of Ncell by acquiring 80% of its shares from TeliaSonera, a Swedish telecom giant, seven years ago in 2015. Further, Sunivera Capital Venture owned by Satishlal Acharya and Sachinlal Acharya has 20 percent shares in Ncell.

Moreover, Axiata group plans to sell its assets to step away from Ncell, according to a statement released on Wednesday. The downturn in revenue and the losses incurred to Axiata group due to Ncell has been cited as the major reason behind the group’s decision.

In the presentation by Axiata’s Group CEO and Managing Director Vivek Sood, it’s mentioned that the company incurred a net loss of 1.3 billion Malaysian Ringgit this financial year, mainly because of selling Ncell’s assets.

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Axiata Group Berhad states that Ncell’s total revenue, which was 1.5 billion Malaysian Ringgit in 2022, has declined to about 980 million Malaysian Ringgit in 2023. Likewise, the group Axiata invested in, made 13% more money overall this year, but Ncell, a part of that group, earned 7% less. It has also played a crucial role behind the group’s decision to leave Ncell.

In 2015, when Axiata acquired Ncell, the company earned Rs 57.72 billion in revenue. However, in the following years, the financial performance didn’t fare as well. In FY 2076/77, the revenue was Rs 46.77 billion, in FY 2077/78, it dropped to Rs 40.22 billion, and in FY 2078/79, it further decreased to Rs 39.51 billion. Then, in the last fiscal year, FY 2079/80, Ncell’s revenue saw another decline to Rs 37.44 billion. So, the downfall in revenue is the main reason for the group’s decision to exit Ncell.

As per reports, the Axiata’s share in Ncell could be bought by the Acharya brothers (who hold 20% of the company shares now). However the deal made or the amount put forward by Axiata for Ncell is still not known.

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It’s also equally likely that a new multinational group step in to take ownership of Ncell. There’s talk of Chaudhary Group or Sunivera Capital Ventures Pvt Ltd possibly becoming the new owners of Ncell, according to rumors. We look forward to the next group guiding Ncell to new successes and ensuring top-notch telecommunications services.

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