SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Malaysian telecommunications firm TIME dotCom ( TCOM.KL ) is selling a major stake in its data center business to U.S. infrastructure investor DigitalBridge Group ( DBRG.N ) for about 2 billion ringgit ($437.64 million). the companies announced Tuesday.
The deal, announced at a time of political turmoil in Malaysia, underscores growing demand for infrastructure assets such as data centers in Southeast Asia as investors are lured by their stable, long-term returns.
According to the statement, TIME will sell 49% of ordinary shares and 100% of irrevocably convertible preference shares to AIMS Data Center Holding and 21% of ordinary shares to AIMS Data Center (Thailand).
Proceeds from the share sales will be used in part by TIME to pay a special dividend of up to 1 billion ringgit to its shareholders, TIME Commander-in-Chief Afzal Abdul Rahim said in the statement.
The balance will be reinvested in TIME, he added.
The deal gave the AIMS business an enterprise value of 3.2 billion ringgit and compares with the 119 million ringgit TIME paid to acquire it in 2012, according to the company. The current book value of AIMS is 240 million ringgit.
“This strategic partnership allows us to crystallize significant value from the investment we have made in AIMS over the years,” said Afzal.
TIME shares rose 5.2% on Tuesday to their highest level since Aug. 30 after the announcement.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of the second quarter of next year.
($1 = 4.5700 ringgit)
Reporting by Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Anshuman Daga, Rashmi Aich and Muralikumar Anantharaman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.