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Lao govt close to decision on Tigo sale

Lao govt close to decision on Tigo sale

Ekaphone Phouthonesy
Vientiane Times
Publication Date: 16-02-2010

The government of Laos will soon make a decision on whether to approve the sale of Millicom International Cellular's telecom business in Laos to a Russian company, according to a senior official from the National Authority of Post and Telecommunication. Director General of the Planning and Cooperation Department, Mr Snith Xaphakdy, said a government appointed committee had completed a study of Millicom Laos, which provides mobile phone services under the Tigo brand name. An assessment of the company's assets, debt and technical operations is also complete, he said, adding that the government is looking at the results of the study and would make a decision on the issue soon. “The committee has sent the results of the study to the government. The government is considering it and will make a decision on the issue soon. We have made recommendations to the government on the matter.” Mr Snith said both Millicom Laos and the Russian company would like the government to approve the transaction as soon as possible. Millicom International Cellular announced in September that it had reached an agreement on commercial terms with VimpelCom to sell its 74.1 percent holding in the joint venture with the Lao government for about US$65 million. The Lao government holds 22 percent of shares and Millicom Lao Co, Ltd founding chairman Mr M. A. Zaman holds 3.9 percent of shares in the joint venture. The government's shareholding will not be affected by the proposed deal. Mr Snith said although the two companies had agreed on commercial terms, they have to request approval from the government before they can proceed with the deal. The government will need to look at whether VimpelCom is qualified to become a new partner in the joint venture. Millicom International has mobile phone operations in 16 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa, and cable and Internet businesses in Central America . VimpelCom operates telecommunication services under the brand name Beeline in Russia , and in several former Soviet republics as well as Vietnam and Cambodia . There is no official statement from Millicom Lao about whether or when it will change its name, products, management or marketing strategies after the takeover. There is also no information as to whether the Russian firm will introduce its own technology to expand its market share in Laos . There are four major mobile phone service providers in Laos : Lao Telecom, Enterprise of Telecommunications Lao, Star Telecom and Millicom Laos.





Many times change already.
From Tango to Tigo and now to new name again.
I don't think it will not work
People already get used to the name, and selling the business will cause another problem to the consumers.

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