OCK eyes tower unit spin-off

Malaysian infrastructure operator OCK Group is considering a spin-off listing of its tower business on a foreign stock exchange by 2020, according to the company’s managing director Sam Ooi Chin Khoon in an interview with The Edge Malaysia.

OCK has a regional presence with more than 3,500 towers in three markets: Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia. Once its tower portfolio reaches the 5,000 mark, by next year at the earliest, OCK’s regional business will be big enough to be spun off from the group, according to Ooi.

“We hope to do the spin-off listing within one to two years. I have visited Hong Kong a few times this year and I have been invited to attend some meetings in Singapore as well. I think these are the two countries that we are quite happy to consider at the moment,” Ooi said. “In fact, some people have approached me to list in Bangkok and even the UK, which could attract a lot of institutional investors. At this point in time, we don’t have a definite answer.”

Ooi’s announcement is in line with TMT Finance’s exclusive report in July this year. TMT Finance then reported that OCK Group was tipped to be mulling a spin-off of its tower business which could result in a sale. Multiple sources said that the group is thought to have held discussions with investment banks testing market appetite for the towers portfolio.

Ooi also mentioned that the company is looking to expand business in the Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The company has identified a local partner in the Philippines — ISOC Infrastructures Inc — to expand the footprint in the towerco business.

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