From the Wires
CITIC Telecom to Acquire 79% Interest in CTM Increasing Its Shareholding to 99%
Jan. 13, 2013 07:52 AM
For a total cash consideration of US$1,161,300,000 Creates synergies and facilitates business diversification
Hong Kong, Jan 13, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited ("CITIC Telecom" or the "Group;" stock code: 1883), a leading international telecoms services provider in Asia, announced that it has signed sale and purchase agreements with Sable Holding Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cable & Wireless Communications Plc ("Cable & Wireless") and Portugal Telecom, SGPS, S.A., PT Participaes SGPS, S.A. and PT Comunicaes, S.A. ("Portugal Telecom") respectively to acquire their entire interests in Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau, S.A.R.L. ("CTM"). The acquisitions account for 79% of the interests in total, at a total cash consideration of US$1,161.3 million (approximately HK$9,000.1 million).
Upon completion of the acquisitions, CITIC Telecom's shareholding in CTM increases from 20% to 99%, and CTM would become a subsidiary of CITIC Telecom. The acquisition requires the approval of the Macau Government and relevant PRC governmental and regulatory authorities. The Group expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2013. Macau Post, an entity controlled by the Macau Government, continues to hold the remaining 1% equity in CTM.
CTM is principally engaged in mobile, fixed line and broadband services in Macau and is a major supplier of enterprise telecom services to corporate customers in Macau. According to the two signed agreements, Cable & Wireless is to sell its 51% interest in CTM to CITIC Telecom at a consideration of US$749.7 million (approximately HK$5,810.2 million), while Portugal Telecom is to sell its 28% interest in CTM to CITIC Telecom at a consideration of US$411.6 million (approximately HK$3,189.9 million). The amount was determined after arm's length negotiations among the parties with reference to CTM's historical financial performance.
At the same time, CITIC Telecom entered into a three-year strategic alliance agreement with Portugal Telecom in which both parties will capitalize their respective expertises in certain areas of collaboration in the telecom sector and jointly identify investment opportunities in information and communication technology ("ICT").
Mr Xin Yue Jiang, Chairman of CITIC Telecom, said, "The Group has been placing great emphasis on Macau as a strategic market. The increase in CITIC Telecom's stake in CTM facilitates our long term business expansion, generates solid synergies with our business integration and enables us to realise higher business growth. The acquisitions should also prove beneficial to the development of the community in Macau. We are also very pleased to maintain good relationships with both Cable & Wireless and Portugal Telecom to create higher value for our shareholders."
CITIC Telecom expects to fund the acquisitions with its existing cash resources and new bank loan facilities. The Group has obtained commitments on a certain funds basis for short and long-term loan facilities from a group of banks to cover all of its funding requirements in relation to the acquisitions. CITIC Telecom may consider refinancing part or all of such facilities at a later date through a combination of equity issuance (including via a rights issue) and/ or bond issuance.
Benefits of Increasing the Group's Stake in CTM
CTM is Macau's leading integrated telecom services provider. It currently holds the rights until the end of 2021 to provide local and international switched fixed voice and data services granted by the Macau Government. CTM also operates other licenses from the Macau Government to provide mobile services in Macau.
The increased stake in CTM is in line with the Group's long term business strategy, enabling the Group to expand its telecommunication businesses in Greater China and facilitate the diversification of its customer base and services profile from a wholesale-dominated provider to a more end-user focused services provider.
To improve CTM's performance, CITIC Telecom will increase its investment in CTM to strengthen its infrastructure and building of support system. Leveraging its experience, the Group will also introduce innovative technologies in order to upgrade CTM's overall technological standard. The Group will also further integrate business operations in order to enhance CTM's international network coverage and innovation capabilities so to fully realise synergies. This direction is intended to build a more solid financial and operational profile, enhance the scale of the Group's business and create a more balanced revenue mix.
At the same time, while promoting sustainable healthy development of telecom services in Macau, CITIC Telecom is determined to play a more significant role in advancing the development of the Macau community. The Group plans to assist CTM to expand cloud computing applications, implements network convergence and advanced international telecom services as well as develop a 4G network, with the aim to transform Macau into a leading integrated digital city in the region.
Mr Xin Yue Jiang concluded, "CITIC Telecom has full confidence in the prospects of both Macau and the telecom industry in Macau. With the strong support from the CITIC Group, as we become the largest shareholder of CTM, the Group will actively complement the Macau SAR Government to enhance the technological standard of Macau's telecom industry, thus providing quality telecom services to Macau citizens and contributing to the new digitalised IT era of Macau."
About CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited
CITIC Telecom is one of Asia's leading telecoms service providers specialising in hub-based services. In addition to serving its key markets in China and Hong Kong, the Group is actively expanding its business to international telecoms operators. The Group has four main types of business, namely Voice Services, SMS Services, Mobile VAS and Data Services. Its independent hub connects over 621 telecoms operators in 75 countries or regions. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.citictel.com
Source: CITIC Telecom International Holdings Limited
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