Breaking: Telenor to Buy 63 Percent Stakes in Warid

Telenor is ready to buy 63 percent shares in Warid Telecom, Pakistan against USD 1.3 billion, as confirmed by sources close to the deal.

Dhabi Group will retain 7 percent shares in the company, while other 30 percent are with Singtel.

Warid’s spokesperson has not authenticated this news, while Telenor said that they don’t comment on rumors or speculations.

As per our sources, that are multiple in number, said that whole talks went through in a smooth way, especially when Telenor agreed on paying the value that was pretty acceptable for Dhabi Group. Final discussions went through last week in Abu Dhabi when Telenor’s top management was there to finalize the matters.

Sources further confirmed that buyout will remain under cover until certain requirements are met, including clearance of liabilities and certain amount of expense cut in Waird. Hard one, but a fact can be certain job cuts in Warid in next 2 weeks.

It merits mentioning here that Singtel had tried buying remaining 70 percent stakes in Warid, back in July 2009, however, deal couldn’t close then due to value differences.

Story is developing, stay tuned for more information and analysis on this.

Update: Sources at PTA have communicated us that they are aware of the situation, however, approval hasn’t been asked by Telenor or Warid, as of now. PTA will approve the application with no objection.

Update 2: As more details are coming in, it is learned that takeover will happen in next two months. Telenor Pakistan and Telenor Asia heads were present in the talks with Dhabi Group – Irfan Wahab was also seen in Islamabad last week, hence it is anticipated that he played decisive role too.

As mentioned above, Warid will have to settle its liabilities, especially those with franchisers and publishers. Sources further communicated us that Warid may shed its workforce too.

It was further revealed that both Warid and Telenor will keep working with their brand identities, and no merger in operations will happen. However, Telenor will takeover the control of company – that means it will appoint its own senior management. We are also told that Telenor has chosen the next CEO of Warid, and he is non-English.

All this means that distributors/franchisers need not to worry about the takeover, as their operations will keep rolling the way they are. Instead, their long awaited commissions/payouts are supposed to be released in near future. (but according to new formulas, derived by management last month).

This takeover will also affect those operations where Warid, Wateen or Bank AlFalah were working in collaboration. For instance, Warid’s those cell sites, that incorporated Wateen’s WiMAX boosters may have to re-sign the contracts. In such cases, cell site land owners may get additional rent due to existence of two signaling transmitters. By the way, majority of Warid Cell Site owners are not paid for Wateen’s transmitters.

As both the brand will retain their identity, market dynamics may not change largely. Mobilink will remain the significant market player. However, Telenor will inject fuel for sure – especially in marketing, customer support and HR departments of Warid.

By the way, Telenor’s buyout of Warid does not mean at all that Telenor Pakistan itself is not for sale, that we heard about few months ago.


Warid gives stance on media rumor: The statement, issued by Warid, endorses the un-authenticity of the news circulated in the media and it explains clearly that no such information is issued by the company Management.

Statement further said that Warid Telecom is a responsible organization that always keeps the public update on any developments.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

    • Bad news for consumers in general. We’ll have logically ‘one-less’ cellular operator, .. means less competition for the operator and more expensive for the consumer in the longer term. :|

    • It looks like having the best network is pointless when you are a broke company. Telenor has put everyone in their place.

    • Got this SMS from a friend, which is said to be from CEO Wateen (couldn’t confirm it though)

      “As some of you have inquiring, i thought it best to send a quick SMS. As I had shared earlier with SMT Warid (Pakistan of our Int’l Business) have been in discussion in respect of potential merger/strategic investor oppertunities which make sense for the mobile industry and shareholders.

      If and when such a transaction closes -it will be positive news for all inshAllah. This does not negatively effect Wateen as our Chairman has already approved our IPO which inshAllah will happen by this year end and we are evaluating some other interesting opportunities for Wateen also.

      I will keep you apprised as things progress but this is all positive as if Warid were to merge it would make the joint opperations the leading mobile operator and allow the operations to flourish and grow.

      InshAllah i will share the good”

  • I think that Zong was going to buy telenor, and now telenor is going to buy shares in Warid. . . . . :)

    • Best at going bust in the shortest space of time. Telenor and Warid started at the same time and now Teleno saves warids butt. I take it you will not stay. That you have telenor as your new boss?

  • Telenor will become biggest operator, leaving behind Mobilink. Telenor tried on Zong first (smallest operator) and then trying on warid now.
    but i think bad news for employees of Warid though… lots of firing i guess!

    • It’s not necessary to fire the employees.There is reason behind it becoze they know well operation of warid but they can change top management

      • If the warid employees were that good why was their business in such a bad shape that 100 % of Warid is only worth 38% of telenor. The company has no management to speak of and anyway Telenor has its HQ in Islamabad and Warid has there’s in Lahore

  • @Muhammad Zohair Chohan –> Zong was not buying Telenor, china mobile (owner of Zong in Pakistan) China was trying to buy Telenor. There is big difference between Zong Pakistan and China Mobile China

    • Now should i say like “Not China Mobile, CMPak was going to buy telenor”?
      There is no difference between, ZONG | CMpak | China Mobile as these are names/brands of same company :( I wrote zong, because many people don’t know about the name of Parent company.

    • miss asma note that telenor is not a mobile operator only.
      Telenor is multinational business group working in various sectors & countries since 1895

  • hahahahahahahahaha so many rumors about telenor
    1-China Mobile was going to acquire Telenor
    2-Telenor was going to leave Pak
    3-now this Telenor is going to acquire Warid
    if 2nd and 1st is true then why has Telenor started the deployment of 3G as it require a huge amount of investment they wouldn’t have started it and would have sold it…
    looks like the image is getting clear Telenor is here to stay for a long time

  • umm this well be a rumour .. we have seen such rumours abt zong and telenor which were stupid to the core .. why would telenor sell when they are doing good lol .. what can we say, i think it would be an epic move .. a bigger player to kill them all is going to step in … and i have worked with telenor … it was all rumour telenor wont leave Pakistan . they are doing very good

  • I think that that news is right.Warid has financial problems now a days so it can do that.
    2nd thing zong has the power & money to do any strange thing.Because no one can face & compete china in any kind of trade or something else.

  • I can’t understand the logic behind this move.

    Why they are investing such a huge amount in a market where they are already operating and in a good position also.

    No such example is present in any other market as per my information that an operator is running two companies in a market. Other reason may be they want to kill it down to lower the competition. Here other companies are also suffering from competition then why only Telenor is investing such a huge amount. One option may be that all these companies have made up a cartel and arrange a fund to purchase one company and sink it down.

    Telenor name will be used and funds from all present operators. Recently same thing happen in my city, Where 4 cable operators jointly purchase 5th operator. After shutting own, Tehy all operating single cable in whole city with increase of fee from Re200 to 250. otherwise no logic at all behind this move

    • Pretty logical you are – but that’s not the case here. One may speculate (i repeat, its just speculation) that Telenor may sell its own operations to someone, and then keep its presence in Pakistan through Warid. who knows…

  • o ya Allah yai Telenor to loteri hai pehlay is telenor nay sms delivery reports , free balance checking band karwai tamam companies ke. phir zong kay sath kuth jhor bana ker unko customers ko loontay k dao pech sekhayay, ab warid ke bari?

    jahan jahan telenor ho wahan wahan say bhago.

    Telenor 2007 year say apni delivery reports aur free balance checking band kerna chahti the. aur telenor he pehli company the jis nay eid aur dosri celebrations per sms delivery reports off kerna shuru kein hata kay telenor us wakt new telenor the aur in kay customers b bohat kum thay wajah sirf yai the telenor say bardash nahi hota customers ko lootay begair services day d jain.
    Telenor 2007 year say balance checking per 50paisas to 85paisas charges lagana chahti the laiken akeli company lagati charges to baki companio kay customers khush hotay, is liyay telenor nay bari chalaki say PTA kay masheraykhaas honay kay natay baki companio ko b sath milla kar apna kaam ker lia.

    jahan jahan telenor wahan wahan say bhago agar apnay paisay bachanay hon to. bayshak telenor achi services deti hai laiken lootti bohat hai. ainda say main Zong, warid, telenor say door rahonga kio kay in main telenor ka saya :D

  • I think Ufone wil not approach CCP as most profit goes into its pocket. There is a good number of right minded people who don’t like telenor at all especially after 2005 cartoon issue. They can ignore all illegal or unethical business tactics of Muslim companies but don’t accept fare non-muslims activities. Most of such people opted Warid for good service and rates. But after take over they have to leave warid and opt for other operators. In such Ufone will be the best option for them. So Ufone wil enjoy this

  • Interesting… Telenor and Warid had past rumors of merger and acquisition as well. Let’s see what will happen at the last minute.

  • Telenor is coming out with bang. This is amazing, and shows their committment in pakistan. First tameer bank and now warid.. Wow

  • amir bhai is it a rumor or confirmd news???
    also let us know if there is any official statement from either side?

  • ahhh… i liked the name WARID!!!!! :( n frankly..i hate TELENOR and its pathetic services and bad call quality!!! (at least in Lahore)

  • this is worst news :( wasn’t expecting it. telenor will destroy warid. the best services wont be available after that. and thats also true. competition will be destroyed and only we wil suffer :( i think it should keep going as it is or atleast not this step!

  • Dear aamir:
    you said this not mean that telenor pk is not for sale. I am agree with you but this is not with telenor only it’s also with mobilink, zing, ufone. All are here for business and and look for there profit. So any other company want to purchase it’s competitor on good amount they will sell out his business. Like warid Congo already purchased by Indian company or warid Pakistan if deal finalize.
    But you always target telenor even in your speculations. And what a speculation that sold out it’s 2nd position Subscriber in Pakistan n remain there presence base with 63% only n no 4th market.

    Telenor will be no 1 on market after purchasing warid so, mobilink will no more key player. You can sum up no of subscriber from PTA site.

    • So true Umer. Before sometime everyone said that telenor is paying propakistani because they always favoured it. but now it seems they have stopped paying propakistani. :)

  • i am new at propakistani.
    I works in Wincom… WIncom is a company which do operation and maintenance of Waridtel. In my sector i daily hear such kind of news.
    Few days before i hear that VODA Fone is coming to pakistan. CM pak is willing to buy Mobilink.etc

    But how much this rumor is concern that telenor is approaching to buy warid is, spread like fire in jungle. Every one in warid and wincom is suffering in fear. As not buddy knows the realty.

  • I am a neutral person, but guys lets appreciate the strategy of Telenor, in 5 years coming from no 6 to no 1 was not an easy task, see the vision, and I am expecting this company will become Market giant very soon.

  • @ wow ya you are right. Telenor has got 150 year experience. but if you read the above comments of MR Zaffar says at November 14, 2009 at 3:39 am , you will also think that Telenor will not buy Warid. There is a need of Warid to buy Telenor. What Telenor get after buying Warid ? Customers ? BTS ? Less competitors ?

    1-> in daily life of Pakistan we saw that each person got almost 4 SIMS in pocket. Rates are too low. So it is not matter of rates . It is now matter of psycho and choice. The person who do not like to use telenor will certainly not use waridtel when telenor is behind warid.

    2-> according to my information telenor got almost 10000 on air BTS. the mostly sites are in hilly areas and in villages here we can say in remote areas. Waridtel got less sites then telenor and these sites are in cities. So it is also not a big factor which can support the reason of buying waridtel.

    3->what about the competitors ? Telenor is progressing day by day and we can easily saw that customers of telenor are increasing day by day. So competition is not the factor.

    Why telenor is buying the warid is not the thing. i think so abu dhabhi do not want to stay more in telecom in pakistan.

  • In my point of view, the main reason behind this is that These Sheikhs are angry with Govt. of PAkistan Policies and in past they have also called their emabssedor back from pakistan. I think that might be the key factor of this deal. As shieks are not poor they have the millions of dollars in all over the world. But in paksitan specially in wateen and warid they are showing losses. Their relations with the Govt. is key factor for implementing this deal.

  • Amir is right that telenor is going to buy warid and sell its own to zong or sum one else at a high rate and also remains in the market using warid tell thats great.Warid group is suffering from a high financial problem in wateen so they can sell warid and invest money in wateen and remains in telecom sector in pakistan good shot ithink

  • warid had some shares from indian businessman due to which pakistani establishment forced them to sell the shares and i think its good.
    i knew it would happen sooner or later
    my friend in army told me

  • Honestly, we can see a lot emerging here. PTA would be able to give newer license in a year or 2. As Telenor would be holding 2 licenses in its hands, PTA can force them to merge the Warid-Telenor operation, in order to make way for a newer operator.

    Still, I am seeing Singtel running Warid whereas Telenor would run Telenor.

  • This would be great. I guess MObilink should get ready to be number 2 very soon and hope they will be last ones the way they are working………..

  • @ Rai … so what about Telenor… According to my info they are trying to work in india as a merged company.

    I am agree with saad…

  • I think telenor will make a mistake in buyin out warid. PTA intends to issue the 3G liscences in 2010 and telenor should concentrate on purchasing that liscence and increasing customer base by providing high quality and unique 3G services to its customers. With the economic crisis going on it is not smart to invest such a huge amount in a failing 2.75G competitor.

    Both telenor and warid have BTS sites all over pakistan and mostly located in close proximity to each other so this will be a waste of CAPEX and OPEX as most of these sites will be redundant in 2-3 years after the migration to 3G anyway. Besides it would have been cheaper to buy out warid after the 3G liscence award as warid did not have the finances to purchase the 3G liscence or to perform the 3G roll-out so their market share would have dropped considerably.

  • consolidation in cellular telecom was inevitable and its a good thing the best telecom company decided to stay and buy a struggling one. Hopefully the money saved on TV advertising can go towards improved telecom services – so the customers will eventually be better off.

  • Breaking News: Ufone to buy 30% Stake in China Mobile

    Islamabad: November, 14, 2009: Ufone the leading mobile operator has recently shown interest in buying shares in Chine Mobile Pakistan. Waleed Arshad the Group Head of Ufone along with Abdul Aziz CEO and some other officials of Etasalat had a meeting with Mr Quan Chan, Director China Mobile and Mr Yuan Zang, Chief Operating officer China Mobile. Meeting took place in China Mobile headquarters in China on Nov 13th 2009. China Mobile has offered its 30% stake to Ufone while the Mou is expected very soon. The officials agreed upon the terms equally beneficial for both entities.

    Ufone’s Brand story is a success to be marveled at. Over the last 2 years, Ufone’s brand has grown leaps and bounds and it’s continuous presence and unique humor has elevated its perception and equity drastically. The Brand has found its way into the hearts if the people and the message of “saaf awaz, Fauri Raabta, Behtreen Network and Sastay Tareen Call Rates” is now strongly associated with Ufone.

    Ufone is an Etisalat Group Company with its presence in all the major cities of Pakistan along with a comprehensive coverage across all major towns, villages and tehsil headquarters of the country. The company employs more than 3,850 people and operates with a network of more than 375 franchises and 26 company-owned customer service centers along with a distribution network of 150,000 outlets nationwide.

      • This breaking news comes from a very worried Ufone. I was working with Telenor when the launched and the day Telenor launched a few Ufone guys came to the telenor office and tore up launch posters and jumped up and down on them. 5 yers later telenor becomes the number one operator and ufone becomes a bottom feeder fighting with Zong. Looks like telenor got the last laugh :-)

      • This is a wrong information. Abdul Aziz is very much in Pakistan since Friday.Atleast on friday 13/11/2009 i met him personally in F-7 Jinnah Super office.. ITs a rumor that Ufone is buying Zong..Ufone is not at all intrested in any acquisitions.

  • Jamal came up with bang …
    Jamal if there is any source then intimate…

    The consequence of low rates will bring such big ventures until 3-g came….

    i think so PTA is behind all of this… because they need money … money will came after issuing licenses…

  • I worked in warid telecom for a while, the only thing i din’t like in that company was the management. Never I have seen a company changing their policies earlier and informing employees later. All policies are jotted down in employee handbook (which is never acessible to employees). It is just like breaking the code of ethics, outside Warid it is done by employees, but to my surprise Warid management is more than happy to break ethics as they please.
    So I think if this news is true, it is good for warid employees, as telenor has much more professional people in their management as compare to Dhabi group.

    • I agree with Gladitor’s comments.
      Have watched Warid and Telenor closely from outside.
      The biggest and only problem with Warid is that it is run like a “seth” company. It operates on whims and wishes of the senior most management ( no need to take names, everyone knows ) . Middle teir and other employees are just puppets, and same is the case of normal franchisees and business partners.
      People enjoying Warid are the top management and few related franchisees of them.
      I hope with Telenor’s takeover, things would improve in 6 to 8 months.

  • @Gladiator…

    If telenor accept them… it is history that new management always remove traces of old management.

  • @ Gladiator I strongly agree with your point here. Undoubtly telenor will eventually become a market leader and also bring the. Worries for mobilink. Secondly telenor people are really professional. No doubt abt it. That’s why they will be on no 1 position after this recent acqusition.

  • I Think Good shot by zong who is behind this deal.Now ready for another shok.Zong has power to do something strange as it is the bigest cellular company of the universe.Telenor is interested in indian unitech company.So it can sell their own in pak and zong has lot of money as a china company and become the market giant by purchasing it & rocks with 48% custamers in pakistan isay kehtay han 1 teer se 2 shikar:-D

  • we all could be planner of telcos :P my be dream planner:P

    this is telecom not pakitani politics :)

  • to be true .. what i learnt during my stay with different Telecom companies is that .. all companies in pakistan are ready to sell some of their share … but most want to keep the control…

    Anyways consolidation is necessary as these companies would not be able to grow and survive for long in this cut throat competition

  • In my personal opinion, the only company consistent with its policies is Mobilink. Operating since 1994, it is the best cellular company i have ever seen. The others are struggling too … but there are always rumours about them. Previously, there was a rumour that Telenor is taking out its investment from Pakistan and investing in India in Broadband business.

    I think that Mobilink is the only company operating consistently, creating career opportunities and has the largest share in FDI for telecom sector. Mobilink Rocks!!

  • Mr. Goldenhandshake: one less player would not make a monopoly – which will never be allowed anymore in today’s extremely regulated environment. PTCL is a bad example because it started as, and remained a monopoly for 50 years before the sector was deregulated in 2004. Since then, there are other operators offering fixed line services but because it is an unattractive sector, not a whole lot of tier-1 competition entered this area — fixed line business is a dying business around the world.

    Anyway, I still think consolidation is good. Excessive competition destroyed LDI (Long Distance and International) market. The result is very low rates, but it is over illegal grey traffic, frequently of very poor quality.

    As a consumer I dont mind paying a fair price – as long as the service is of good quality and the company keeps its “value promise”.

    My other point was reducing TV clutter and bombardment of advertisements by teleco’s. Reduced competition will help me enjoy my cricket matches – though I’m sure the TV channels wont be too happy !

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