Telenor strikes $490m deal for Pakistan unit

Telenor strikes $490m deal for Pakistan unit

Telenor Group announced it will sell its Pakistani operations to Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) for NOK5.3 billion (US$490 million) and end its 18-year stay in the South Asian country. 

Telenor has been restructuring its business in Asia having wrapped up mergers in Thailand and Malaysia and exited Myanmar. The group previously stated it was looking to strike a deal for its Pakistan unit before the end of this year due to massive losses. The agreed transaction is expected to be completed in 2024.

In Pakistan, Telenor holds 45 million customers whereas, PTCL-owned Ufone has 25 million subscribers.

Telenor Asia’s portfolio now compromises of Grameenphone in Bangladesh, CelcomDigi in Malaysia and True Corporation in Thailand, with a total of 160 million customers.

Speaking to Reuters, Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group CEO revealed the group explored a potential merger which did not materialise and found a sale was more beneficial for shareholders. 

Petter-Børre Furberg, Head of Telenor Asia, added: “We systematically considered all alternatives during the strategic review process and believe that, following a sale, the market will be better served by a strong local champion. Our strategy in Asia is to build number one positions in the markets we operate, with scale as a pre-requisite for value creation and profitable growth.

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