Telenor Asia has announced the completion of the merger of the telco operations of True and dtac in Thailand. The transaction is reportedly the largest telco merger in Southeast Asia by combined enterprise value.
The new company, named True Corporation, aims to address Thailand’s increasing demand for high-speed data and capture growth opportunities in a fast-changing digital region.
According to Telenor Asia's Digital Lives Decoded 2022 survey, 82% of Thais are expected to significantly increase their mobile usage over the coming years, more so than in any other market surveyed. By combining the strengths of True and dtac, the new company said it’s poised to be at the forefront of digitalization in Thailand.
“The completion of the transaction is a new milestone in Thailand’s impressive digital journey. The pace of innovation is expected to accelerate, creating growth opportunities for the country. Telenor is ready to support True Corporation with access to advanced technology, a network of global partners and cutting-edge industry insights. The new company will combine the strengths of dtac and True to deliver high-quality connectivity and leverage the latest developments in 5G, AI and IoT. With the completion of the mergers in Thailand and Malaysia, Telenor is expanding its role in Asia, serving over 200 million customers through leading local champions well placed to create value for customers and society,” says Jørgen A. Rostrup, executive vice president of Telenor Group and head of Telenor Asia.
On a pro forma basis for the financial year 2022, True Corporation served an estimated 55 million mobile customers, 5 million broadband connections and 3.2 million pay-TV subscribers, and had an EBITDA of US$2.4 billion and revenues of US$6.2 billion. The new company will have an Enterprise Value of more than US$20 billion.
Following completion, the new company will be able to leverage partners, vendors and local talents to bring more benefits to customers on an expanded network footprint, distribution touchpoints and a broader range of products and services.
To accelerate and stimulate growth in Thailand’s digital ecosystem, the new company, together with partners, intends to raise US$200 million in venture capital, supporting promising digital startups focusing on new products and services that benefit Thai consumers.
Telenor and CP Group will be equal partners with a 30.3% ownership stake each in the new company. The Board of Directors of True Corporation will consist of 11 directors. Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors and Mr. Jørgen A. Rostrup will be Deputy Chair in addition to chairing the Executive Committee.