MobiFone to hold IPO this year

17 Feb 2011

Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services (VMS), the operator of MobiFone, Vietnam’s second largest wireless network by subscribers, will hold an initial public offering (IPO) this year. According to a report by local news agency VnEconomy, which cites Minister of Information and Communication, Le Doan Hop, the company will undergo privatisation to improve its competitiveness and attract foreign investors, thereby contributing to the restructuring of the economy. The minister did not disclose the size of the stake that would be sold in the offering. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that MobiFone was owned by state-owned telecoms group Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication (VNPT, 55%) and Swedish-based Comvik International (45%), until May 2005 via a business cooperation contract (BCC) that was agreed in 1995. At the end of the arrangement ownership passed back to the state, which subsequently declared its intention to privatise the company as soon as possible. In August 2008 Credit Suisse Group was hired to act as financial adviser for an IPO, which later valued the operator at around USD2 billion. After further delays in the process, the company announced in early 2010 it was ‘quickly preparing for the privatisation process’. Meanwhile, France Telecom revealed last November that it has pursued a stake in MobiFone for the past four years, adding that although the privatisation of the cellco has been slower than anticipated, it is still interested in acquiring a stake in the firm.

Vietnam, MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation