Mobilink acquires Warid Telecom in Pakistan

Mobilink acquires Warid Telecom in Pakistan

Vimpelcom’s Pakistani unit Mobilink has acquired Dhabi Group’s Warid Telecom in what is claimed to be the country’s first mobile acquisition.

According to a statement, the two companies will merge and Mobilink CEO Jeffrey Hedberg will take on the role of chief executive of the combined business.

The combined business will reach 45 million customers across Pakistan, and Vimpelcom hopes the merger to boost its network as well as expand mobile financial services in the country.

“Creating the largest operator in Pakistan is a significant milestone for Mobilink and Warid but also for Pakistan as a whole,” said Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak al Nahyan, Dhabi Group chairman.

“Both parties bring their unique strengths to this merger. Warid, with its strong post-paid base and high quality 4G LTE network will complement Mobilink’s position in the market.”

The board of the combined firm will consist of seven directors – six to be nominated by Vimpelcom and one by the Dhabi Group shareholders – and the merger is expect to create capex and opex synergies of approximately $500 million.

The joint revenue of both Mobilink and Warid for the year leading to September 2015 was $1.4 billion.

The deal is due to close in six months subject to approvals from Pakistani authorities.