Qatari telecom group Ooredoo leaves Myanmar, after Norwegian Telenor
Qatari telecommunications group Ooredoo has agreed to sell its Myanmar operations to a Singapore-registered company in a deal that would see the company leave the troubled Southeast Asian nation.
Ooredoo Asian Investments, which owns Ooredoo Myanmar and Ooredoo Myanmar Fintech, will be sold to Nine Communications for an enterprise value of $576 million, according to a press release issued on September 8.
Ooredoo is believed to rank last in terms of subscribers among Myanmar’s four mobile operators, behind army-affiliated laggard Mytel.
Human rights groups had called for the sale after Myanmar’s military takeover in February 2021.
“The difficult decision to divest our Myanmar business is a direct result of this review aimed at reshaping our portfolio as a leading telecommunications company,” Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Ooredoo Group Managing Director, said in the statement. Press. “We will ensure a smooth transition with as little disruption as possible by adhering to all local requirements.”
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The transaction is subject to the approval of the Myanmar authorities.
Nine Communications is a special purpose company partly owned by Nyan Win, a telecommunications industry figure with more than 40 years of experience in the field, according to the press release.
Ooredoo was one of two foreign companies allowed to enter Myanmar’s telecommunications sector in 2014. The other, Norway’s Telenor, completed its divestiture and left the country in March 2022. The former Telenor Myanmar was renamed Atom in June.
A version of this article was first published by Nikkei Asia on September 9, 2022. ©2022 Nikkei Inc. All Rights Reserved