Telenor to increase its ownership stake in GrameenPhone to 55.5 per cent

Telenor and the remaining partners of the leading mobile operator in Bangladesh, GrameenPhone, have entered into an agreement with the Japanese Marubeni Corporation to buy their entire 9.5 per cent stake in GrameenPhone.

Telenor and the remaining partners of the leading mobile operator in Bangladesh, GrameenPhone, have entered into an agreement with the Japanese Marubeni Corporation to buy their entire 9.5 per cent stake in GrameenPhone.

After completing the transaction, Telenor will have increased its stake to 55.5 per cent of the shares in GrameenPhone from the previous level of 51 per cent.  The purchase price is USD 9.7 million, valuing GrameenPhone to USD 216 million on a 100 per cent basis.
 
Telenor entered the Bangladeshi mobile market in 1996 and established the mobile operator GrameenPhone with its partners Grameen Telecom of Bangladesh, US-based Gonofone, and Tokyo-based Marubeni Corporation. GrameenPhone launched its commercial mobile operation in March 1997, and soon became Bangladesh' leading mobile operator. The company surpassed two million subscribers in September 2004, and has an estimated market share of 63 per cent.  Bangladesh has a population of more than 130 million and an estimated mobile penetration of 2.4 per cent as of the end of September 2004.
 
"GrameenPhone is a well-managed and highly competitive company with a sound EBITDA margin in a very promising market.  Securing our majority stake in the company from the former 51 per cent level is in line with Telenor's 'taking control or exiting' strategy", Arve Johansen, Deputy CEO in Telenor, said in a comment to the transaction.
 

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