Telenor kicks off the sale of $1 Billion Pakistan business

Telenor Sale

Telenor Sale

Telenor ASA is pushing ahead with plans to sell its operations in Pakistan, which could be valued at about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

The Norwegian telecommunications operator is working with Citigroup Inc. and will invite first round bids for the business later this month, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

Telenor said in July that it would conduct a strategic review of its Pakistan unit after posting a 2.5 billion-krone ($244 million) impairment on operations in the emerging economy.

Strategic buyers in the Middle East and Asia with existing operations in Pakistan are expected to show interest, according to the people. Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty they’ll result in a transaction, they said.

Representatives for Citigroup and Telenor declined to comment.

Shares in Telenor rose as much as 2.4% on Wednesday. The stock was up 1.8% at 14:02 p.m. in Oslo, giving the company a market value of $13 billion.

In October, Telenor said underlying earnings in Pakistan fell 22% in the third quarter, in part because of rising energy prices in the country. The impact of this was offset by a gain from the reversal of a SIM tax in Pakistan.

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