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August 25, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 8:42pm

HUTCHISON PAYS $25M FOR SRI LANKAN MOBILE OPERATOR

By CBR Staff Writer

Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd (HTIL), a unit of the Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Group, has acquired Sri Lankan cellular operator Lanka Cellular Services (Pte) Ltd $25 million. HTIL paid $18.5m to Singapore Telecommunications Ltd for a 78.74% stake in LCS. HTIL also paid $6.5 million for the remaining stake, held equally by Sri Lankan firm Capital Development and Investment Company Ltd. The deal is part of an increasing interest in the Sri Lankan telecommunications market. Earlier this month, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp signed a $225 million deal to buy a 35% stake in the state telecommunications company, Sri Lanka Telecom. HTIL says that it sees strong growth potential in the part liberalized Sri Lankan telecommunications market. Two years ago the Sri Lankan government deregulated the telecom industry by issuing licenses for wireless loop technology networks to two companies, Sweden’s Telia AB and Bell Canada Corp. There are now 75,000 mobile phones in the country.

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