The pair sited a number of ‘complexities’ that had killed the deal but did not rule out the possibility of reigniting discussions further down the line

Telenor and Axiata have announced that they have ended discussions over a possible merger between the two telecoms players.

In a statement on its website, Telenor said that the pair had mutually agreed to end discussions regarding the proposed merging of their telecom and infrastructure assets in Asia.

"Over the last four months, both parties have been working on due diligence and finalising transaction agreements to be completed within the third quarter of 2019. Due to some complexities involved in the Proposed Transaction, the parties have mutually agreed to end the discussions.

"Both parties still acknowledge the strong strategic rationale of the Proposed Transaction. The parties do not rule out that a future transaction could be possible," the company statement read.

The telcos’ planned merger would have created a new entity that served over 300 million subscribers in nine countries across Asia. The pair claimed that the merger would have provided cost saving synergies of around $5 billion.  

Telenor currently has close to 100 million subscribers in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Axiata Group has operations across Southeast Asia, with its biggest markets being in Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

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