Telenor right before calling it quits in Myanmar

Norwegian telecom group Telenor is seeking a way to sell its Myanmar unit after the February 1 coup has pushed the country into chaos and bans on communication and Internet usage by the junta has made business unfeasible.

The company issued a statement on July 2 that it was considering to look for “options” for its operations in the country.

“Due to the continued situation, Telenor Group is in the process of evaluating various options with regards to its presence in the country,” the statement said, adding that “the evaluations are ongoing, and Telenor Group will not make any further comments.”

Hard to find a (Western) buyer

Insiders commented that the company would let go of its activities in the coup-ravaged country rather sooner than later, but for obvious reasons, it is currently hard to find a buyer for the business. It has, however, hired Citi to sell the unit, with non-binding bids due in the coming weeks, they say.

At the publication of the company’s financial report in May, Telenor conceded that it had to write off its entire investment of $782 million in Myanmar as the coup had “severe impact” on the company’s business in the country and the situation was not expected to get better any time soon.

There are currently two potential solutions for Telenor’s dilemma, people familiar with the situation said.

One was that particularly Chinese buyers would be invited to lay an offer because they would likely not be subject to international sanctions that discourage other international telecom companies from considering a bid for Telenor Myanmar. Reportedly, some larger Chinese telecom firms are looking into the potential opportunity.

The other would be a bid by Telenor’s local competitor, Ooredoo Myanmar. The Qatari-owned mobile network operator has so far not announced any major adverse effects on its business and reportedly has shown interest in buying Telenor’s operation.

One of the largest foreign direct investments

Telenor entered Myanmar in 2014 in the short window of democracy in the country when foreign investors were inspired to invest into the “last frontier.” It was among the largest foreign investors at that time, with commitments for more being poured into the ongoing network expansion.

Today, Telenor has around 18 million customers in Myanmar which gives it a market share over 30 per cent. State-controlled Myanma Posts and Telecommunication, or MPT, is the market leader with about 40 per cent market share, while Ooredoo Myanmar occupies some 18 per cent.



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Norwegian telecom group Telenor is seeking a way to sell its Myanmar unit after the February 1 coup has pushed the country into chaos and bans on communication and Internet usage by the junta has made business unfeasible. The company issued a statement on July 2 that it was considering to look for "options" for its operations in the country. "Due to the continued situation, Telenor Group is in the process of evaluating various options with regards to its presence in the country," the statement said, adding that “the evaluations are ongoing, and Telenor Group will not make any further...

Norwegian telecom group Telenor is seeking a way to sell its Myanmar unit after the February 1 coup has pushed the country into chaos and bans on communication and Internet usage by the junta has made business unfeasible.

The company issued a statement on July 2 that it was considering to look for “options” for its operations in the country.

“Due to the continued situation, Telenor Group is in the process of evaluating various options with regards to its presence in the country,” the statement said, adding that “the evaluations are ongoing, and Telenor Group will not make any further comments.”

Hard to find a (Western) buyer

Insiders commented that the company would let go of its activities in the coup-ravaged country rather sooner than later, but for obvious reasons, it is currently hard to find a buyer for the business. It has, however, hired Citi to sell the unit, with non-binding bids due in the coming weeks, they say.

At the publication of the company’s financial report in May, Telenor conceded that it had to write off its entire investment of $782 million in Myanmar as the coup had “severe impact” on the company’s business in the country and the situation was not expected to get better any time soon.

There are currently two potential solutions for Telenor’s dilemma, people familiar with the situation said.

One was that particularly Chinese buyers would be invited to lay an offer because they would likely not be subject to international sanctions that discourage other international telecom companies from considering a bid for Telenor Myanmar. Reportedly, some larger Chinese telecom firms are looking into the potential opportunity.

The other would be a bid by Telenor’s local competitor, Ooredoo Myanmar. The Qatari-owned mobile network operator has so far not announced any major adverse effects on its business and reportedly has shown interest in buying Telenor’s operation.

One of the largest foreign direct investments

Telenor entered Myanmar in 2014 in the short window of democracy in the country when foreign investors were inspired to invest into the “last frontier.” It was among the largest foreign investors at that time, with commitments for more being poured into the ongoing network expansion.

Today, Telenor has around 18 million customers in Myanmar which gives it a market share over 30 per cent. State-controlled Myanma Posts and Telecommunication, or MPT, is the market leader with about 40 per cent market share, while Ooredoo Myanmar occupies some 18 per cent.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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