China Mobile is acquiring an 18% stake in Thai operator True Corp for around $880 million.
True, which is Thailand’s third largest provider with 23.1 million connections, signed a related cooperation memorandum with China Mobile’s subsidiary CMI Holdings, which will subscribe to 4.43 billion True shares at THB6.45 each - a total of THB28.57 billion.
The deal is part of True’s drive to reduce its debt and begin rolling out 4G services. The company’s plan to create an infrastructure fund via a selling and leasing arrangement was hit with setbacks over leasing rights.
China Mobile does not have extensive operations outside of China, although it did acquire Millicom’s Pakistani unit in 2007, which it now operates as Zong. The unit has 25.6 million connections, placing it in third in the Pakistani market.