Thursday, September 25, 2008

TeliaSonera Acquires Controlling Stakes in Mobile Operators in Nepal and Cambodia

TeliaSonera has acquired controlling interests in two mobile operators, Spice Nepal Private Limited in Nepal and Applifone Co Limited in Cambodia. Specifically, TeliaSonera will acquire 51 percent of the shares and votes in TeliaSonera Asia Holding B.V. from Visor Group that will remain owner of the other 49 percent. TeliaSonera Asia Holding B.V. owns 80 percent of the shares and votes in Spice Nepal, the second largest mobile operator in Nepal, and 100 percent of the shares and votes in Applifone, a start-up mobile operator in Cambodia. The total cash consideration to be paid by TeliaSonera is approximately SEK 3.2 billion (US$484 million), corresponding to 51 percent of the total equity value of TeliaSonera Asia Holding B.V.

  • Spice Nepal launched its operation in September 2005 and is the second largest mobile operator in Nepal, with around 1.6 million subscriptions and an estimated market share of approximately 41 percent as of August 2008. Spice Nepal's net sales in 2007 and for the first six months of 2008 were US$41.1 million and US$34.1 million, respectively, and EBITDA, excluding non-recurring items, was US$19.0 million and US$18.2 million, respectively. Mobile penetration in Nepal, with a population of 28.4 million, is approximately 13 percent.

  • Applifone launched its operation in October 2007 and is the fourth largest mobile operator in Cambodia, with some 97,500 subscriptions and an estimated market share of approximately 3 percent as of August 2008. Mobile penetration in Cambodia, with a population of 14.6 million, is approximately 21 percent.

TeliaSonera also holds majority stakes in major mobile operators in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Moldova, and through associated companies in Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Belarus as well as in Afghanistan, through a financial holding.

"One of our top priorities is to grow our business in Eurasia, where we have successfully grown and created value over the past ten years. We now take a further important step in executing our strategy to expand into new high-growth emerging markets, following our successful investments in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Nepal and Cambodia have a combined population of 43 million, low mobile penetration and growing economies. I am excited about this opportunity," says Lars Nyberg, President and CEO of TeliaSonera AB.http://www.teliasonera.com

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