China Mobile Communications is on the verge of acquiring Millicom International Cellular in a $5.3-billion deal that will expand the Chinese company's footprint into a slew of emerging markets around the world, according to a Dow Jones report.
The report said leaders of state-owned China Mobile, the largest wireless phone company in China and the biggest in the world in terms of subscribers, still needed to sign off on the agreement.
The report said that by acquiring Luxembourg-based Millicom, China Mobile would obtain wireless assets in Latin America, Africa and South Asia.
Millicom only served 10 million customers, but it controls valuable licenses in 16 developing countries, including Bolivia, El Salvador, Chad and Cambodia, the report said. The territory it covered held nearly 400 million people.
In January, Millicom announced it had received a "high number" of unsolicited bids and that it had hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate offers, the report said.
Officials at Millicom and China Mobile could not be reached for comment.