Telenor Pakistan sold to PTCL
December 14, 2023
Telenor Group has announced the sale of its Pakistan telco operations to Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL), which is part of technology and investment group e&. PTCL’s major assets include Ufone, a mobile operator in Pakistan with over 20 million customers.
The sale is part of Telenor’s strategy to build scale and players in Asia, as presented at the 2022 Capital Markets Day. It concludes the strategic review of the telco operations in Pakistan, which was announced in July 2022.
The remaining Telenor Asia portfolio comprises of operators Grameenphone in Bangladesh, CelcomDigi in Malaysia and True Corporation in Thailand, with close to 160 million customers.
The transaction values Telenor Pakistan at NOK 5.3 billion (€0.46bn) on a cash-and-debt-free basis. This includes repayment of intercompany loans of NOK 3.5 billion and reduced interest-bearing liabilities of NOK 1.8 billion, including leases.
Sigve Brekke, CEO at Telenor Group, commented: “Our decision to pursue the sale of our Pakistan operations follows 18 successful years of operations in the country, which started as a greenfield rollout. We are proud of the company Telenor Pakistan is today. It is an efficient and future-ready telco operator, with a strong distribution network and talented team serving 45 million customers. By selling to the country’s largest integrated ICT company, we believe this consolidation move would help strengthen Pakistan’s telecoms sector, creating opportunities in new areas of growth to the benefit of consumers in Pakistan.”
Petter-Børre Furberg, Head of Telenor Asia, added: “We systematically considered all alternatives during the strategic review process and believe that, following a sale, the market will be better served by a strong local champion. Our strategy in Asia is to build number one positions in the markets we operate, with scale as a pre-requisite for value creation and profitable growth. We thank and acknowledge the commitment of the Telenor Pakistan team and partners, who will continue to serve customers well in the transition. Looking ahead, Telenor Asia will remain an active owner for the three market-leading businesses which make-up our Asian portfolio.”
Telenor Pakistan will continue its business as usual and focus on delivering services to its customers. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary terms and conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed during 2024.