Merging company

Norwegian company Telenor joins forces with Thai company CP in mobile telephony sector


Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor said on Monday it had agreed to merge its Thai mobile unit with a local rival with the aim of creating a new major player in the market.

Telenor and Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) have said they plan to combine their respective mobile units, Dtac and True, in a so-called “merger of equals” that will create a new company with 55 million subscribers and combined sales of nearly $ 7 billion.

Telenor and CP will each own 33.3% of the merged company, and the remainder will be listed on the Thai Stock Exchange.

The merger is always subject to the approval of the boards of directors and shareholders, as well as the regulatory authorities.

“The parties acknowledge that there is no certainty as to the completion of the transaction,” Telenor said in a statement.

DNB Markets economist Ole-Andreas Krohn said there were “still some hurdles in the road” before the deal could see the light of day.

Telenor, which owns 65% of Dtac, will have to convince minority shareholders of the interest of such a merger.

Competition authorities could also oppose the plan, as the merger would leave “in practice” only two operators in the Thai mobile phone market, he said.

The new group will focus on new technologies, CP said in a separate statement.

“The new venture will focus on developing technology-based businesses, creating a digital ecosystem and creating a seed investment fund,” he said.

“Telecommunications activities will remain at the heart of the corporate structure, while more attention is needed to develop our capabilities in new technologies: artificial intelligence, cloud technology, IoT, smart devices, smart cities and solutions of digital media, ”said CEO Suphachai Chearavanont. .

Present in Northern Europe and Southeast Asia, Telenor is already in the process of merging its subsidiary in Malaysia, DiGi, with Celcom, controlled by the Malaysian group Axiata, to create a 10 billion euro company.

The group also decided to sell its subsidiary in Myanmar following a coup in this country, to the Lebanese financial group M1 Group.

The transaction is not yet finalized and according to several media, the junta is opposed to the sale.