China Mobile to buy True Corp stake

China Mobile is reportedly to acquire an 18% stake in Thailand’s True Corp, valued at approximately $581 million.

According to local sources, True Corp – backed by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont’s Pokphand Group – is looking to secure a foreign partner and also plans to offer new shares.

True is the only Thai mobile operator without a foreign partner and the investment from China Mobile is expected to help the company expand regionally.

China Mobile has also been struggling in its domestic market, reporting its lowest quarterly profit for the past five years in May 2014.

The proposed deal falls at a difficult time for Thailand, which is under military rule following months of dispute between government and anti-government activists.

The acquisition is subject to approval from the True Corp board. If successful, it would mark China Mobile’s first transaction outside of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in seven years, according to Reuters.

Last month, China Mobile awarded contracts to Huawei and ZTE for its 4G roll-out.

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