The Competition Commission of Pakistan (“CCP”) has approved the merger of Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (“Mobilink”) and Warid Telecom (Private) Limited (“Warid”)*. This approval is the first of four required approvals from the local regulatory bodies, including Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (“PTA”), Securities & Exchange Commission Pakistan (“SECP”) and the State Bank of Pakistan (“SBP”).
Commenting on the approval, Jean-Yves Charlier, CEO of VimpelCom, said, “We are pleased that the Competition Commission of Pakistan has approved our request to merge the two businesses. The combination of Mobilink and Warid will be a positive step for the development of technology and communications services in Pakistan. Together, the future entity will serve more than 45 million customers through a best-in-class mobile and high-speed network, and bring further investment into infrastructure and digital services for consumers in Pakistan as they navigate the digital world.”
Commenting on the approval, Jeffrey Hedberg, President and CEO of Mobilink, said, “We are delighted to receive the CCP’s approval, which is an important milestone in the merger process and paves the way for other regulatory approvals. We appreciate the role played by the CCP during this process and we look forward to progressing with the remaining regulatory bodies in the coming days.”
Adeel Bajwa, Chairman Board Executive Committee of Warid Telecom Pakistan, expressed his gratitude, “We are happy on receiving the approval from the Competition Commission and thankful to the Authority for their wisdom and support. The Authority has shown great professionalism in reaching this determination after thorough deliberations and detailed evaluation. This is a milestone in the Telecommunication history of Pakistan. Such steps will go a long way towards enhancing investor confidence in the country and the progress of Cellular Industry. We look forward to the next steps in this process and are very excited about the opportunities this affords us for better serving our customers”.
The transaction is the first major merger in the mobile telecommunications sector in Pakistan.
*Approval is subject to certain remedies by the CCP