True Corp buys back USD100m shares to hold 98% of True Move

11 Jun 2009

Thai full-service telco True Corp will pay around THB3.54 billion (USD104 million) to its parent Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group to buy back shares in Bitco, the holding vehicle for its cellular subsidiary True Move, to take its total ownership in the cellco to around 98% from the current 80%. The Nation newspaper quoted a True source confirming that the company would exercise an option to buy back the shares today, using its operating cash flow for the purchase. According to the report the transaction lays the foundations for True Move to negotiate a possible 3G mobile partnership with a strategic investor. True Corp has reportedly been approached by overseas telcos, including some from China, over a possible strategic partnership with True Move. True intends to sell no more than a 25% stake to a foreign company to maintain overall strategic control. The Nation notes that CP Group injected THB3 billion capital in late 2007 to support True Move’s network development, increasing its interest in Bitco from 0.76% to around 20% and reducing True Corp’s consolidated holding in Bitco from 98.17% to around 75%. In February 2008 True’s board approved a plan to buy back Bitco shares from CP Group.

Thailand, True Corp, True Move