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Telenor Myanmar sale to M1 Group gets approval

Myanmar

The sale of Telenor Myanmar to M1 Group has received final regulatory approval from the Myanmar Investment Commission.

The Myanmar authorities, however, made it a condition that M1 Group should have a local partner in the ownership of the telco after the transaction is completed.

M1 Group is a Lebanese investment holding company and has chosen the local partner Shwe Byain Phyu – which recently acquired a 49% stake in Singapore-based company Investcom.

After the transaction closes, M1 will sell an additional 31% of Investcom to Shwe Byain Phyu.

Telenor initially agreed to sell its Myanmar unit to M1 Group for $105 million in 2021 but authorities preferred a local buyer at the time, stalling the bid.

“Telenor has to leave Myanmar to be able to adhere to our own values on human rights and responsible business, and because local laws in Myanmar conflict with European laws,” Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group said.

He added that the company has “limited options available” and the sale of Telenor is deemed the most realistic alternative to keep its employees safe given the ongoing security situation in the country which he described as “extreme and deteriorating”.

“We are deeply saddened for the society and people of Myanmar who are experiencing an extremely difficult situation,” Brekke added.

“Leaving Myanmar was a decision we made with heavy hearts, and I would like to thank our employees and customers for their dedication to Telenor throughout our years in Myanmar.”

Telenor says it is in dialogue with M1 Group to ensure a smooth transition for customers, partners and employees, hoping to close the deal as soon as possible.

The business will continue to operate under the brand name Telenor Myanmar for four additional months following the sale.

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