Yoma to buy Telenor's stake in Myanmar’s Wave Money for $40m, down from $53m

Yoma to buy Telenor's stake in Myanmar’s Wave Money for $40m, down from $53m

Telenor's 37th LightHouse follows the mission of digital literacy in Myanmar. Photo: Telenor.

Yoma MFS Holdings, a subsidiary of Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic, is acquiring a 51% stake in Digital Money Myanmar (Wave Money), a digital payment service provider, for $40 million, according to a disclosure.

Yoma will acquire the controlling stake from Norwegian telecom firm Telenor, a joint venture partner of Yoma Strategic in Wave Money. Both Telenor and Yoma agreed to transfer the stake for $53 million in January.

However, based on the amendment agreement for the deal on November 18, Telenor and Yoma agreed on the new consideration, taking into account their respective long-term business strategies for Myanmar and the economic outlook since the previous announcements.

“The company (Yoma) remains confident that the financial services pillar will contribute a significant part of the group’s business performance over the next three to five years,” according to the disclosure.

The parties have obtained approval of the relevant regulatory authorities for the acquisition and will proceed to complete the sale and purchase in accordance with the terms of the amendment agreement and the new SPA.

According to a Reuters report, Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar operations last year following a military coup in February, and in July agreed to sell its telecoms business in the Southeast Asian nation to Lebanese investment firm M1 Group for $105 million. That deal is still awaiting approval from Myanmar authorities.

Wave Money is a leading provider of money transfer and digital payment solutions in Myanmar. The company was launched in November 2016 as a joint venture between Yoma Bank and Telenor Group, after the fintech pioneer was awarded a license to become the first non-bank institution to work under Myanmar’s new Mobile Financial Services Regulation.

“This acquisition reinforces Yoma Strategic’s desire to build a strong financial and technology ecosystem in the country over the long term,” Melvyn Pun, CEO of Yoma Strategic, earlier said.

In 2020, Wave Money processed a total of $8.7 billion in remittance and payments, which represented around 12% of Myanmar’s GDP. The company runs a network of more than 45,000 active agents or “Wave Shops” in urban and rural areas across 295 out of the 330 townships nationwide.

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