Emerging markets have the potential for telecommunications giant Ooredoo to expand its footprint in other territories worldwide, according to Ooredoo deputy Group CEO Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulla al-Thani.
Sheikh Mohamed made the statement at a media conference Tuesrday in the wake of the recent agreement signing to merge PT Indosat Tbk (Indosat Ooredoo) and PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia (H3I).
Asked about other expansion plans in the pipeline, Sheikh Mohamed cited Ooredoo’s strategic plan, which also complements the telecommunications company’s digital journey.
“Ooredoo has a strategy of looking at any opportunity that could expand and enhance the financial position of our shareholders either through mergers or acquisitions across our footprint in the Middle East or Southeast Asia or in countries where we are present,” Sheikh Mohamed told Gulf Times.
He continued, “Ooredoo has a presence in Southeast Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa region, among other areas. These emerging markets are always a potential for any merger, acquisition, or asset-light. We always see that there are opportunities; our footprint shows that we have these potentials, which are subject to further review for our next strategy.”
During the media conference, Sheikh Mohamed reiterated that the merged company will be called Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, and will consolidate its position as a stronger number two player in the Indonesian mobile market with revenues of around $3bn.
According to Sheikh Mohamed, the transaction “is perfectly in line with Ooredoo’s group strategy to operate as the top two player in each of our markets and will generate enhanced returns for the group, resulting in sustainable profitability to elevate future dividend potential.”
He stressed that the move already received “a very positive response” from the market and financial analysts, citing Reuters, which reported the transaction as being “placed to deliver a higher return on investment for all shareholders.” Reuters Breakingviews also described it as “could be one of those rare deals where everyone wins something,” Sheikh Mohamed said.
“This transaction is indeed positive for Ooredoo and strengthens the group’s market position,” said Sheikh Mohamed, who noted that the merger will deliver “great benefits” for Ooredoo Group and Indosat Ooredoo shareholders, customers, employees, and for Indonesia.
He added: “With this agreement now in place, we can turn our attention to closing the transaction in the coming months and then working with CK Hutchison to build a world-class digital telecoms company for Indonesia.
“Of course, completion of the transaction will be subject to the approval of Ooredoo Group, CK Hutchison, Indosat Ooredoo shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary terms and conditions. Assuming all approvals are received, the proposed combination is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.”