Dtac to pay $297.6m to settle legal disputes with CAT

Thailand's Dtac has agreed to pay 9.5 billion baht ($297.6 million) to settle most of its legal disputes with former concessionaire CAT Telecom.

Dtac, a subsidiary of Norway's Telenor, has reached an agreement to settle numerous disputes with state-owned operator CAT that arose during the more than 27 year concession period, the operator said in a stock exchange filing.

The concession agreement ended in September last year as Thailand transitioned from the prior concession model to the more conventional spectrum auction model for providing licenses to private mobile operators.

The agreement, which still requires shareholder approval, will include settlements to disputes that are still in litigation, including disputes regarding additional revenue sharing and those related to CAT's claim that Dtac failed to abide with the non-competition provision of the concession agreement.

But it does not cover two disputes related to the revenue sharing agreement between the two companies, related to excise tax and interconnection charges respectively.

Dtac said if the settlement is approved by shareholders, it will make an initial payment of 6.8 billion baht, and will pay the remainder after the pending cases are withdrawn from the courts.

The operator does not expect the settlement to have a material negative impact on its liquidity or financial position.

Shareholders are expected to vote whether to approve the settlement agreement at Dtac's annual general meeting, the date of which has yet to be announced.

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