China Mobile Ltd. (00941.HK) is acquiring an 18 percent stake in Thai telecommunications group True Corp. for US$881 million, Reuters news agency reports.
True Corp., backed by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont’s Charoen Pokphand Group, will sell 4.4 billion shares to China Mobile at 6.45 baht (19.87 US cents) each, a 13.4 percent discount to True’s last traded price. as part of a US$2 billion rights share issue.
The deal highlights Dhanin’s strong political connections in China, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. Dhanin’s CP Group is a major investor in China’s agricultural industry, and operates Lotus supermarkets in Shanghai. In 2013 it acquired HSBC Plc.’s (00005.HK) US$9.4 billion stake in Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd. (02318.HK, 601318.CN).
“Through the proposed strategic investment in True Corp., China Mobile is expected to access new customers, international business opportunities and new earnings growth drivers, which is of great significance to the telecom business of the company,” China Mobile’s chief executive Li Yue said in a statement.
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