Following the news last month that Axiata Group of Malaysia is to buy TeliaSonera’s 80% stake in Nepalese mobile operator Ncell for USD1.365 billion, it has emerged that the remaining shares in the cellco are also to change hands. The Kathmandu Post reports that local investment firm Sunivera Capital Ventures, which is owned by Bhavana Singh Shrestha, has signed a share purchase agreement with the existing 20% shareholder Niraj Govinda Shrestha. The purchase price has not been disclosed.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Ncell is Nepal’s largest mobile operator, with 13.01 million customers as of mid-September, ahead of government-backed Nepal Telecom with 12.45 million and limited mobility operator Smart Telecom with 1.34 million. Under Nepalese law, at least 20% of telecoms licensees must be domestically owned. TeliaSonera expects to complete the sale of its Ncell stake to Axiata by mid-2016.