Telenor’s dtac and True complete $20 bn merger

Telenor Asia announced the completion of the merger of True and dtac in Thailand. The transaction is the largest telecom merger in Southeast Asia by combined enterprise value. The new company will have an enterprise value of more than $20 billion.
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“With the completion of the mergers in Thailand and Malaysia, Telenor is expanding its role in Asia, serving over 200 million customers,” says Jorgen A. Rostrup, Executive Vice President of Telenor Group and Head of Telenor Asia.

The combined entity True Corporation served 55 million mobile customers, 5 million broadband connections and 3.2 million pay TV subscribers and had EBITDA of $2.4 billion and revenues of $6.2 billion on a proforma basis for the financial year 2022.

True Corporation, together with partners, intends to raise $200 million in venture capital, supporting digital startups focusing on new products and services for consumers in Thailand.

Telenor and CP Group will be equal partners with 30.3 percent stake each in the new company. The Board of Directors of True Corporation will consist of 11 directors.

Suphachai Chearavanont has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors and Jorgen A. Rostrup will be Deputy Chair, in addition to chairing the Executive Committee.

The combined entity will become the number one player in Thailand with a 52.2 percent market share, ahead of the current market leader AIS, an industry report appeared in GSMA said.

AIS, whose backers include Singtel Group, led the market with 44.5 percent of all mobile subscriptions, equivalent to 44.6 million subscribers, at the end of March 2022. TrueMove H held 33.4 percent of the market share (32.5 million subscribers), with dtac claiming a 19.8 percent market share with 19.9 million subscribers.

AIS has the largest amount of 5G spectrum — a total of 1,330 MHz — across low-, mid-, and high-frequency bands. In May 2022, AIS added a further 10 MHz of bandwidth on the 700 MHz spectrum from NT due to the deal with NT Telecom. With this deal, AIS will increase its bandwidth to 40 MHz from August 2022 onward, which should improve its 5G coverage.

AIS and TrueMove H deployed their initial 5G networks on the 2600 MHz spectrum, while dtac used frequencies in the 26 GHz band. All operators, except for NT, also deployed 5G in the 700 MHz spectrum band when it became available for use in early 2021, following the completion of broadcasting service migration. NT is yet to deploy 5G.