Telefonica deepens ties with China Unicom

Telefonica is deepening its relationship with China Unicom, agreeing to buy up $500 million (€368 million) worth of shares in the carrier to extend its holding to 9.7%.
 
The share purchase will be reciprocated by China Unicom, which will snap up 21.8 million Telefonica shares for €17.16 each, as the pair seek to extend a strategic alliance covering procurement, mobile platforms, MNC services, wholesale, roaming and technology.
 
Unicom’s stake in the Spanish incumbent will total 1.37% once the transaction is completed, and Telefonica will propose adding a Unicom representative to its board.
 
The carrier’s chairman Cesar Alierta already has a seat on the Unicom board.
 
Alierta said the two companies share a combined customer base of 590 million people - roughly 10% of the world's population – and that the extended deal - “reinforces our leadership position.”
 
The agreement will help both firms to “jointly lead the new digital world,” Alierta added.
 
Telefonica and Unicom have been partners since 2009, when each invested $1 billion in the other.
 

The deal marked the first time a Chinese telco cross-invested in a foreign operator. Telefonica held over 5% of Unicom prior to the transaction.

Suggested Articles

Wireless operators can provide 5G services with spectrum bands both above and below 6 GHz—but that doesn't mean that all countries will let them.

Here are the stories we’re tracking today.

The 5G Mobile Network Architecture research project will implement two 5G use cases in real-world test beds.