Norway’s Telenor said to have hired Citi to explore sale of Myanmar unit

Photo by Tony Stoddard on Unsplash

Norwegian telecom operator Telenor is exploring the sale of its Myanmar unit, industry publication TMT Finance reported on Thursday, and has hired Citi to sell the business, with non-binding bids due in the coming weeks.

A Telenor spokesperson said the company does not “comment on market rumours”. Citi was not immediately available for comment.

Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar operation in May in light of the deteriorating security and human rights situation in the country, where its mobile business remains severely restricted following the Feb. 1 military coup.

Some Chinese buyers are also being invited to bid, TMT Finance said, which would likely not be subject to international sanctions faced by other international telecom companies.

TMT said the other foreign operator in Myanmar, Qatar’s Ooredoo, had shown interest in buying its market peer and was looking to find a financial adviser for the forthcoming process.

Ooredoo was not immediately available for comment.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to Reuters that the detail of the TMT Finance report was accurate.

Telenor has around 18 million customers in Myanmar, serving a third of its 54 million population. It is one of the biggest foreign investors in Myanmar, which it entered in 2014.

Myanmar accounted for 7% of Telenor’s earnings last year.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.