True buys out Hutch in Thailand

Dylan Bushell-Embling
03 Jan 2011

Thailand's True Corp has secured the takeover of Hutchison's mobile operations in the nation for 4.35 billion baht ($144.7m).

The company revealed in a filing late last week that it would acquire the assets to expand its own mobile services business.

Under the transaction True Corp subsidiary, Real Move, will buy a 92.5% stake in Hutchison Wireless Multimedia Holdings. Sister unit Real Future will also purchase 100% of Hutchison affiliate BFKT.

BFKT currently owns a network covering 25 provinces, which it leases to the 74:26 JV Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia.

True Corp said it intended to migrate all of the CDMA JV's customers onto HSPA within two years.

Following the acquisition, True will have a controlling stake in Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia, Hutchison Multimedia Services Thailand and Hutchison Telecom Thailand.

BFKT will continue to lease the use of its network and provide maintenance services for CAT Telecom, while Real Move will resell service and capacity it rents from CAT.

Hutchison and True had been negotiating the deal for over a month – True confirmed in November it was in talks over the acquisition.

The state-owned CAT had been trying to acquire Hutchison's stake in their joint venture for years, but in early November Hutchison reportedly baulked at the 4 billion baht figure proposed by ICT minister Juti Kririksh.

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