True Corp seeks foreign partner for Asian expansion

Thai operator True Corporation is reportedly looking for a foreign partner to expand its footprint across south east Asia.

The company’s CEO, Suphachai Chearavnont said that True will be looking to expand into south east Asia with a new, foreign partner in the second half of this year.

The new partner would allegedly be offered shares equivalent to about a quarter of its existing equity.

“We prefer to raise funds via an equity issue to open the way for a foreign partner to take a stake in True,” Chearavnont said.

True Corp is Thailand’s third-largest mobile network operator by subscribers, but remains the only major operator in the country without a foreign partner.

The company also plans to invest 26.5 billion baht ($820 million) in 2014 to expand its mobile broadband businesses, as well as add an additional 100 million subscribers in the region over the next five years.

Last month the company launched a 4G LTE network in Thailand via its subsidiary, Real Future, and is also in the final stages of securing a deal with Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP) in Myanmar.

The deal with YTP would put True up against Telenor and Ooredoo in Myanmar – both of which received official confirmation of their licences in the country in January this year.