The Pakistani arm of China Mobile has stated that it is interested in acquiring local operator Warid Telecom, which is already the target of some major operators looking to consolidate their position in the Pakistani market.
Currently China Mobile Pakistan, known as Zong, has 19.4 million subscribers and Warid has 12.5 million. Following a potential merger, the two would form the third-largest operator in Pakistan.
Zong has hired MAS ClearSight – an investment bank based in Dubai – to help it assess the value of a potential bid, as well as advising during the bidding process. Warid has reportedly placed a three to four week deadline on financial bids.
Other firms reportedly interested in acquiring Warid include PTCL, the Pakistani affiliate of Etisalat. If this operator’s bid succeeded, it would become the second-largest player in the market. In addition, market leader Mobilink’s parent operator VimpelCom is reportedly considering a bid.