DTAC majority owner Telenor has said a planned merger of Thai telecoms firms DTAC and True Corporation will not take place as planned this year, but may still go ahead in the first quarter of 2023.
Plans for a new industry leader in Thailand, with a market share of more than 50% of mobile subscribers, have been held up over competition concerns since they were announced in November of last year.
According to Norway’s Telenor, the plan originally set a one-year deadline for carrying out a voluntary tender offer that would allow the US$8.6 billion merger to go ahead, but this condition was not met.
The Norwegian group said it still believed in the benefits of a deal, and that it continued to actively support an amalgamation of DTAC and CP Group’s True. It also said, “Telenor and CP Group continue to target an equal ownership share of around 30% of the merged company.”
Telenor last month said it would seek clarifications from Thailand’s telecoms regulator over conditions imposed on the deal, including a price ceiling, price controls, cost structure verifications and other measures.
When asked whether the deal was at risk, Telenor Chief Executive Sigve Brekke on October 26 told Reuters that his company was “engaging in a dialogue with the regulator to better understand the conditions and what they entail.” (NNT)