True expands with Hutch acquisition
Thailand's True Corp is expanding through acquisition, agreeing a deal to buy Hutchison's mobile operations in the nation for 4.35 billion baht (€109 million).
Under the transaction True Corp subsidiary Real Move will buy a 92.5% stake in Hutchison Wireless Multimedia Holdings, while sister unit Real Future will purchase 100% of Hutchison affiliate BFKT, to boost True’s position in its domestic market.
BFKT currently owns a network covering 25 provinces which it leases to the 74:26 joint venture 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 out 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.
State-owned CAT had been trying to acquire Hutchison's stake in their joint venture for years, but Hutchison reportedly baulked at an offer of 4 billion baht proposed by ICT minister Juti Kririksh in November.