China Unicom to buy Netcom assets for $940m

18 Dec 2008

China Unicom's Hong Kong listed arm will pay 6.43 billion yuan ($940 million) in cash to buy fixed-line assets from its parent company and China Netcom.

The deal is part of China's telecom industry restructure, which has seen Unicom buy Netcom's fixed-line business and sell off its CDMA business to China Telecom.

Unicom said it in a statement that it will acquire China Netcom's fixed-line assets in 21 provinces in southern China, as well as backbone transmission asset in northern China. The company will also buy out three subsidiaries - Unicom Xingye, CITC and New Guoxin - of its parent company China Unicom Corporation.

The acquisitions are expected to complete end of January 2009.

After the completion of acquisitions, Unicom is expected to expand its fixed-line and broadband business to south China regions, the population coverage is expected to triple, and the number of fixed-line and broadband subscribers is expected to increase by 14 million to reach over 140 million.

Unicom acquired China Netcom earlier this year and in July sold its CDMA business to China Telecom.

The company is expected to be granted a W-CDMA license earlier next year. Chairman Chang Xiaobing has said it would spend $1.5 billion over next two years on its 3G business.

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