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Telenor to divest stake in Myanmar's Wave Money to Yoma for US$53 million

Telenor to divest stake in Myanmar's Wave Money to Yoma for US$53 million

FILE PHOTO: Telenor flag flutters next to the company's headquarters in Fornebu, Norway, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

SINGAPORE: Norwegian telecom firm Telenor has agreed to sell its 51 per cent stake in Myanmar's Wave Money, a digital payment service provider, for US$53 million to a subsidiary of Yoma Strategic, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday (Jan 17).

The subsidiary, Yoma MFS Holdings Pte Ltd, is to be funded by a consortium of investors led by Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic, the companies said.

The sale price values Wave Money at about US$104 million. That compares with a valuation of about US$150 million in mid-2020 when the companies had first signed a deal for Telenor to divest its stake for US$76.5 million.

Yoma said the new deal took into account factors including the economic and business developments in Myanmar since the previous announcements and potential synergies for Wave Money to collaborate with the company's other businesses.

Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar operations last year following a military coup in February, and in July agreed to sell its telecoms business in the Southeast Asian nation to Lebanese investment firm M1 Group for US$105 million. That deal is still awaiting approval from Myanmar authorities.

Wave Money was launched in November 2016 as a joint venture between Telenor and Yoma Bank, which is part of First Myanmar Investment (FMI). FMI and Yoma Strategic are part of tycoon Serge Pun's Yoma Group.

In 2020, Wave Money processed US$8.7 billion in remittance and payments. The business has seen a significant recovery in volumes since June 2021 with the trend expected to continue, the companies said in a statement.

Source: Reuters/gs

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