Friday, August 17, 2007

Business & Investment: France Telecom Wants to Buy Stake in MobiFone

(Vietnam News Briefs Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) from the VIETNAM NEWS BRIEFS, August 15, 2007 France Telecom expressed its strong intention to buy a large stake in Vietnam's second-largest mobile phone network MobiFone, local media said

France Telecom hopes to buy the highest stake possible, France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard

MobiFone has shortlisted six foreign firms which would bid to advise VMS Co., the operator of MobiFone, on its equitization, including an IPO expected in 2008. Only one out of Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Rothschild and UBS will become the adviser for the Hanoi-based firmMobiFone, which is owned by Vietnam's largest post and telecom service provider VNPT Group, said the IPO will take place early next year and VNPT would only hold one-third of the shares in MobiFone

Strategic shareholders would have one third and outsiders the remaining stake, a MobiFone official said. Foreign telecom giants including Vodafone and British Telecommunications Plc have said they wanted to be equity partners in the company

MobiFone, which uses GSM technology, is now serving about 8.5 million subscribers, or 35%. (Thoi Bao Kinh Te - Vietnam Economic Times Aug 15 p8) Copyright 2007 Vietnam News Briefs

Copyright 2007 Toan Viet Ltd, Source: The Financial Times Limited