Billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s AIS to expand its broadband network with $908 million acquisition
Advanced Info Service, backed by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy Development and Southeast Asia’s largest telecom operator Singtel, is buying Triple T Broadband and an infrastructure fund for 32.4 billion baht ($908 million). dollars) to extend the reach of its network across Thailand.
As part of the deal, AIS will buy internet service provider Triple T from Jasmine International for 19.5 billion baht and a 19% stake in Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund for 12.9 billion baht, it said. Tee Seeumpornroj, CFO of AIS, in an exchange file.
“This acquisition will improve consumer access to the highest quality of broadband service by improving broadband inclusion in new areas targeting inland, non-urban areas,” Tee said. “This aligns with our business focus to grow the broadband business and effectively expand the country’s fiber optic infrastructure.”
The transaction will increase the broadband market share of AIS, whose Advanced Wireless Network unit had 1.9 million subscribers in March. That compares to industry leader True’s over 4.6 million subscribers. True, which is backed by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanonnt’s Charoen Pokphand Group and China Mobile, plans to merge with Telenor ASA in a deal that could potentially overthrow AIS as the country’s largest mobile operator.
Sarath, whose flagship Gulf Energy took a majority stake in AIS and its parent company InTouch last year, has diversified into telecommunications and digital businesses. He has a net worth of $11.1 billion, according to Forbes‘ real-time data on billionaires.