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China – ‘China Mobile’ To Acquire Stake In Thai Wireless Carrier.

17 June, 2014

 


Seeking expansion opportunities in emerging markets beyond its Chinese borders, China Mobile (CM) announced plans on Monday to invest USD 881m for an 18% stake in True Corp., the third-largest wireless carrier in Thailand. 


Representing CM’s first major investment outside of China, Hong Kong or Taiwan since 2007, the proposed deal is intended to provide new growth drivers for CM, the world’s top mobile firm by subscribers, which has struggled recently to maintain its market position not only against entrenched rivals such as China Unicom and China Telecom but also against a crop of newly-licensed mobile virtual network operators. True—a provider of broadband, pay television and wireless services to 29m subscribers—is selling 4.4bn shares to CM as part of a larger, USD 2bn rights share issue from which True hopes to use proceeds to reduce debt and boost its ability to invest in network upgrades. 


Notwithstanding the fact that the deal comes in the midst of recent political upheaval in Thailand, True CEO Supachi Chearavanont declared that his company’s partnership with CM reflects the “international business community’s confidence in Thailand’s long-term economy.” At the same time, CM CEO Li Yue explained in a written statement that, “through the proposed strategic investment in True Corp., [CM] is expected to get access to new customers, international business opportunities and new earnings growth . . . which is of great significance to the telecom business of the company.”

 

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