BANGKOK: Thai telecommunications firm True Corp. has agreed to sell an 18-percent stake in its business to China Mobile for about 28.6 billion baht or $880 million under a strategic partnership.
True said it would use the money to reduce its debts and pursue its goal of becoming "an all-powerful leading convergence telecommunications player", bringing together broadband Internet, pay TV and mobile telephone services.
The deal "will transform us into a profitable company and subsequently into a formidable telecommunication player in the region", True Corp. CEO Supachai Chearavanont said in a statement.
True said the partnership, which comes despite investor uncertainty in the wake of a military coup in Thailand on May 22, "reflects the international business community's confidence in Thailand's long-term economy".
The Thai firm, part of the agriculture-to-retail empire of billionaire tycoon Dhanin Chearavanont, also plans to raise an additional 36.4 billion baht by selling new shares to existing shareholders.
China Mobile, the world's biggest mobile operator by subscribers, said the purchase reflected its international expansion and search for strategic investment opportunities overseas.
"China Mobile views True Group's unique convergence business strategy and long-term vision as strong potential to bring about long-term growth profitability," China Mobile CEO Li Yue said in the statement. (AFP)