The Norwegian telecom giant Telenor has agreed to sell its 51 percent stake in Myanmar’s mobile financial services provider Wake Money, Nikkei Asia reports.
According to people close to the deal, Telenor has agreed to sell its stake for $53 million in cash values Wave Money at $104 million to a consortium led by Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings which is its main partner in Wave. The deal is set to be finalized in the coming days and will give Yoma Group, led by Myanmar tycoon Serge Pun, a 75 percent stake in Wave Money.
Currently, Yoma Group owns 49 percent, with 44 percent held by Yoma Strategic Holdings and 5 percent held by its Myanmar affiliate, Yoma Bank. The remaining 25 percent stake will be held by private investors in the Yoma-led consortium, including a Taiwanese financial group and an independent Myanmar internet service provider that is expected to increase its share in the coming months.
Speaking on the matter, a person close to the deal said, “Wave is a great business and Yoma needed to buy it from Telenor. They had little choice if they didn’t want to see the stake go to another party – but it also fits with the growing digitalization of the financial system and their efforts to develop Yoma Bank’s retail platform.”
Telenor declined Nikkei Asia’s request for comments.