12 July 2021
Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor has agreed to the sale of its operations in Myanmar to the M1 Group, a Beirut-based investment firm, to the tune of US$105m.
In May, Telenor announced that it was writing off the value of the business after the military coup in February plunged the country into a political crisis, and the new junta imposed strict limits on mobile and internet access.
“Further deterioration of the situation and recent developments in Myanmar form the basis for the decision to divest the company,” Telenor said in a statement in which it announced the sale.
The company said that M1 Group would take over its entire Myanmar business, acquiring 100 percent of the company, its spectrum, licenses, contracts and operations, employees, and customers. The prominent Norwegian company said “the transaction corresponds to an implied enterprise value of approximately US$600m.”
This decision was foreshadowed by an announcement on July 5 that the firm was “in the process of evaluating various options with regards to its presence in the country,” in light of the fraught and uncertain political situation. This came shortly after reports that the military junta was preventing foreign telecoms company executives from leaving the country without permission.