China Mobile Communications is close to acquiring Millicom International for $5.3 billion, a move that would be the largest international acquisition by any Chinese company. China Mobile is expected to buy Millicom, which operates in emerging countries, for $48 per share in cash. Millicom has 10 million subscribers in 16 countries, including El Salvador, Chad and Cambodia and has largely been ignored in the past as major operators concentrated on developed markets for growth. With saturation hitting those markets, emerging markets are the next frontier.
What a reversal of fortune for Millicom. The company employees only about 40 people in its Luxembourg headquarters, which consists of an office in the basement of a villa, with much of the group management working out of various regions where it has operations. China Mobile is expected to put a lot of resources into Millicom to build more extensive networks in the African, Asian and central American markets where Millicom has operations.
For more about China Mobile's potential deal with Millicom:
- read this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)