Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Hutch Lanka), a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Group (CKHH Group Hong Kong), has announced the successful completion and consolidation post-acquisition of rival mobile network operator (MNO) Etisalat Lanka from Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (Etisalat Group).
CKHH and Etisalat completed the mobile merger agreement on 30 November 2018. In announcing the amalgamation of the two MNOs, the pair noted: ‘Upon completion of the sale CK Hutchison Holdings Limited group will have a majority and controlling stake of 85% whilst Etisalat Group will have 15% ownership of Hutch Lanka.’ The move follows April 2018’s agreement between Etisalat and CKHH to merge Sri Lanka’s third and fourth largest cellcos, under the UAE-based group’s ‘portfolio optimisation strategy’, subject to securing the necessary competition and regulatory approvals in Sri Lanka – which they subsequently secured.
‘Strengthening its market position through this acquisition, Hutch Lanka will continue to operate under the brand name of Hutch as Etisalat Lanka ceases to exist in the country,’ a Hutch Lanka statement said. By integrating the two MNOs’ networks, the combined business will provide all customers with ‘078’ and ‘072’ prefixes, a major boost in both rural and urban network coverage, and ‘a renewed commitment in offering superior communication services benefiting from superior network quality, coverage and performance,’ it added. Further, Hutch Lanka recently launched 4G LTE services in the Western and Eastern Provinces and the nationwide rollout is in train and ‘will soon be available to 072 subscribers as well,’ it confirmed.
At the end of last year, Hutch Lanka announced that it plans to invest USD200 million post-merger with Etisalat Lanka as it looks to improve its ability to offer high speed 4G services to the consumer segment and in particular businesses, in an intensely competitive market.