PTCL will acquire Telenor’s Pakistan business.

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Pakistan Telecommunication firm Limited (PTCL) said on Thursday that it has struck a cash-free, debt-free deal with Telenor to acquire a 100% share in the firm. PTCL will acquire Telenor’s Pakistan business.

Telenor Pakistan, the nation’s second-largest cellular service provider, may soon change ownership after signaling its intention to leave the country last year due to rising business costs.

In a press release today, Telenor added that the transaction is part of its ambition to establish scale and market-leading companies in Asia, which was revealed at the 2022 Capital Markets Day. It brings to a close the strategic review of Pakistan’s telecom activities launched in July 2022.

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“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,” Telenor Asia CEO Petter-Brre Furberg stated.

“Telenor Asia will remain an active owner for the three market-leading businesses that comprise our Asian portfolio.”

Ufone, a mobile operator in Pakistan with approximately 20 million consumers, is one of PTCL’s significant assets.

In the words of the PTCL, “The acquisition brings together the strengths and expertise of both PTCL Group and Telenor Pakistan, creating synergies that will drive innovation and bolster our market, allowing us to reach a broader customer base and accelerate digital transformation journey.”

Furthermore, PTCL CEO Hatem Bamatraf praised the agreement and expressed confidence in the acquisition, stating that it will improve service and delivery to their customer base by providing “better coverage, seamless data experience, massive reach, and a wide range of products and services for customers.”

Meanwhile, Hatem Dowidar, CEO of the E&K Group, said that this move provides an essential opportunity for market consolidation and enables investment in next-generation networks in the nation, securing their position to pursue prospects.

According to Mohammed Sohail, CEO of Topline Securities, this transaction is “one of the largest acquisition deals in Pakistan despite its economic challenges.”

Telenor has been hinting at its desire to leave Pakistan. Bloomberg reported in November 2022 that the Norwegian corporation was looking for a buyer for its Pakistani operations.

Meanwhile, the company stated it would go on as usual and concentrate on providing services to its 45 million consumers. The contract is subject to governmental approvals and other standard terms and conditions. The acquisition is scheduled to close in 2024.

According to the statement, the Etisalat-owned firm is “actively working toward a smooth transition process to ensure minimal disruption for employees, customers, and other stakeholders.”