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China Mobile snaps up Paktel

Millicom International Cellular (MIC) said on Sunday that it has signed an agreement for the sale of its 88.6 per cent holding in Pakistani mobileco, Paktel, to China Mobile for a cash consideration of $284m.

The transaction implies a total enterprise valuation for of $460m for Paktel.

Heavy investments in Pakistan have been a drain on MIC’s group margins, as the company also holds a 61.3 per cent interest in rival operator Pakcom.

Paktel buyer China Mobile has been actively seeking to expand its operations beyond its domestic market and is believed to have had its eye on Pakistan for some time. In 2005, the operator was reported to have made an unsuccessful bid for Pakistan Telecom.

Marc Buels, president and CEO of MIC said it had received strong interest from a number of parties over the sale of Paktel. “The sale of Paktel allows Millicom to focus on the 16 markets where we have already established strong market positions and, with penetration rates rising rapidly, the prospects in the businesses are good,” he said.

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