Nepal's Smart to bring in foreign partner

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

Nepalese operator Smart Telecom will hunt for an international investment partner, after its shareholders resolved an ownership dispute.

The company plans to bring in a strategic partner with the required telecom sector experience within six months, the Himalayan Times reported, citing a Smart Telecom investor.

Smart Telecom has been embroiled in an ownership dispute since November last year, when investor River Road announced it had acquired a 54% stake in the company.

The main investor in Smart, Lal Sahu Distribution, accused River Road of using forged documents to cement the change in ownership.

In the newly-negotiated compromise, the rival investors have agreed to create a separate company with equal ownership, sell a certain percentage of Smart Telecom's shares to the new entity and bring in the foreign investor partner.

Smart Telecom has a unified telecom license, and feels that teaming up with a foreign investor is the best way to secure the substantial funds needed to expand its mobile network nationwide.

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