Telenor is holding discussions with Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group regarding a possible merger of their respective Thai units, dtac and True Corporation.
According to Reuters, the combined businesses would be valued at around US$7.5 billion. However, Telenor noted in an Oslo Stock Exchange filing that the talks were preliminary and would not necessarily lead to an agreement, with the group stating that there were “open issues outstanding” around a merger.
The combined operations would have over 50 million subscribers, placing a possible merged entity significantly ahead of current market leader AIS, which has 44 million connections.
The past year has seen Telenor exploring various avenues for its Asian units – some more positive than others. The Norwegian group is merging its Malaysian unit Digi with Axiata’s Celcom; however, it is having difficulty exiting the Myanmar market following a military coup that has made its business unviable.