Telenor Pakistan, the Norweg telecom company has decided to exit the Pakistani market after more than a year of searching for buyers. The acquisition marks a 100% transfer of Telenor Pakistan Pvt Limited’s equity to PTCL for an enterprise value of PKR 108 Billion on a cash free, debt free basis. Telenor’s departure signifies the departure of another reputable foreign investor from the country, which has a negative impact on the overall perception of the Pakistani market.
The e& group (formerly Etisalat)-backed, Pakistan’s partially-state-owned PTCL group acquired Telenor Pakistan through a share purchase agreement which was signed between Telenor B.V. and PTCL group.
Telenor entered the Pakistani market in 2005 and over the years managed to amass a subscriber base of approximately 45 million customers. Now the combined users of Ufone and Telenor will be more than 70 Million.
Ufone’s own telecom tower network combined with Telenor’s, totals over 20,000 towers, which is around 50% of the total towers in the country. After removing duplicates, the merged company can reuse the dismantled towers to further improve its coverage. Overall Telenor has better coverage in the rural areas of Pakistan, while Ufone has a stronger presence in urban centres. As a result, the merged company can benefit from improved coverage in both regions.