Telenor logs $760m impairment off the back of Thai merger


Telenor’s Thai unit, Total Access Communication (Dtac), was merged with rival True Corp early last year

This week, Norwegian telco group Telenor has announced it will book an 8.04 billion Norwegian kroner ($760.3 million) impairment in Q4 2023 for its investment in True Corp.

The company’s shares had fallen from 8.15 Thai Baht ($0.23) at the start of 2023 to 5.05 Baht ($0.14) at the end of the year, hence the necessity of recognising the impairment.

But despite the share price dropping by around a third, Telenor remains positive on its True Corp investment.

“This mark-to-market alignment has no cash implication and does not reflect any changes to Telenor’s view on the outlook and ownership of True,” Telenor said in a statement. “The Dtac–True Corporation transaction remains positive for Telenor and True Corporation remains a key asset.”

Telenor currently holds a 30.2% stake in True Corp, the Thai mobile operator resulting from the merger of Telenor’s Dtac and Charoen Pokphand Group’s True Corp last year.

The $7 billion merger, which had been in the works since 2021, was finally completed in early 2023.

The controversial deal faced significant delays, with detractors arguing that reducing the number of players in the Thai mobile market to just two would negative impact competition and drive up consumer prices.

Since the merger’s completion, the newly combined True has faced significant costs in integrating Dtac’s network, as well as the ongoing rollout of its 5G network.

The company is also embroiled in a dispute with rival operator National Telecom (NT) related to interconnection charges, with a tribunal in October ordering True to pay NT almost $200 million. True is appealing the ruling.

Keep up with all of the latest telecoms news from around the world with Total Telecom’s daily newsletter

Also in the news:
EU telcos join forces against Gigabit Infrastructure Act
Jio releases ‘Jio Brain’ AI platform
Ofcom issues further crackdown on spoof phonecalls

Recent Posts