Thailand-based Gulf Energy Development is set to enter the telecom market in the country after agreeing on a deal to acquire stakes in InTouch Holdings, media reports said. Gulf Energy secured subscriptions for 747 million shares or 23.3 percent of all issued shares of Intouch through a 25-day tender offer.
Once the deal is completed, Gulf Energy’s total stake in InTouch Holdings will reach 42.2 percent. Currently, it holds an 18.9 percent stake in the telco. The deal is expected to be completed this month.
Acquiring majority stakes in InTouch means Gulf Energy will indirectly own leading mobile operator Advanced Info Service, as InTouch owns a 40 percent stake in the company.
In this regard, Fitch Ratings director Obboon Thirachit previously told the media, “The acquisition of InTouch and AIS would provide more diversified cash flow and a larger income base for the power company, although a debt-funded structure is likely to put additional pressure on Gulf’s stretched balance sheet.”
Last month, AIS partnered with China-based smartphone manufacturer vivo to run 5G Standalone (SA) network tests in the country. In a press release, vivo revealed that it has plans to work with operators in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan to conduct further 5G SA testing in the near future.
vivo’s 5G Standard Expert Tamrakar Rakesh told the media, “Owing to our user-oriented approach towards innovation and desire to bridge users with the digital world, vivo is armed with first-hand knowledge of serving the evolving consumer preferences. As a key contributor to 5G standards in the world.”