Qatar’s Ooredoo Group is reportedly in talks to sell its Myanmar division, Reuters writes, citing two people familiar with the matter. According to the unnamed sources Ooredoo has informed sector regulator the Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD) of its intention to sell the cellco, although it has not yet found a buyer for the company. Three firms were said to be in the running to purchase Ooredoo Myanmar, the sources claimed, namely: local conglomerates Young Investment Group and Shwe Than Lwin (through its satellite TV unit, SkyNet); and Campana Group, an infrastructure firm with its headquarters in Singapore. Discussions between the parties had not yet reached the final stages.
The departure of Ooredoo would mark the second major exit from the telecom sector since the country’s military seized power in early 2021. Norway’s Telenor Group completed the controversial sale of its Myanmar subsidiary in March this year, having initially declared its intention to exit the market in July 2021. The former Telenor Myanmar was renamed Atom Myanmar last month by its new owners M1 Group and Shwe Bain Phyu Group (SBP).
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Ooredoo Myanmar claimed a total of 14.7 million mobile subscriptions at the end of 2020 but by March 2022 that figure had shrunk to 9.0 million. Alongside Ooredoo and Atom, Myanmar’s mobile market is also served by state-backed telco Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT) and Mytel, a joint venture between Vietnamese military-backed group Viettel, Star High Public Company – a subsidiary of Myanmar military-backed Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) – and Myanmar National Telecom Holding (MNTH), a consortium of eleven local companies.