Bangkok (22 November 2021) – C.P. Group and Telenor Group today announced that they have agreed to explore an equal partnership to support True Corporation Plc. (True) and Total Access Communication Plc. (dtac) in transforming their businesses into a new tech company, with the mission to drive Thailand’s technology hub strategy. The new venture will focus on the development of tech-based businesses, creating a digital ecosystem and establishing a start-up investment fund to support Thailand 4.0 Strategy and the efforts to become a regional tech hub.
During this exploratory phase, the current operations of True and dtac continue to run their business as normal while their respective key shareholders: C.P. Group and Telenor Group aim to finalise the terms of an equal partnership. The equal partnership refers to the fact that both companies will hold equal shares in the new entity. True and dtac will undergo necessary processes, including due diligence, and will seek board and shareholder approvals and other steps to satisfy relevant regulatory requirements.
Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont, Chief Executive Officer of C.P. Group and Chairman of the Board of True Corporation said, “over the past several years, the telecom landscape has evolved rapidly, driven by new technologies and highly competitive market conditions. Large regional players have entered the market, offering more digital services, prompting telecom businesses to quickly readjust their strategies. In addition to upgrading the network infrastructure for smarter connectivity, we need to enable faster and more value-creation from the network, delivering new technologies and innovations to customers. This means the transformation of Thai businesses into tech-based companies is a vital step to maintain competitive edge amidst global competitors.”
“Transforming into a tech company is in line with Thailand’s 4.0 Strategy, which aims to strengthen the country’s position as a regional technology hub. Telecom business will still form the core of the company’s structure while greater emphasis is needed to develop our capabilities in new technologies – artificial intelligence, cloud technology, IoT, smart devices, smart cities, and digital media solutions. We need to position ourselves to support investment in tech startups, setting up a venture capital fund that targets both Thai and foreign startups based in Thailand. We will also explore opportunities in space technologies to expand our potential areas for new innovations.”
“This transformation into a tech company are key to enabling Thailand to move up the development curve and to creating broad-based prosperity. As a Thai tech company, we can help unleash the enormous potential of Thai businesses and digital entrepreneurs as well as attract more of the best and the brightest from around the world to do business in our country.”
“Today is a step forward in that direction. We hope to empower a whole new generation to fulfil their potential to become digital entrepreneurs leveraging an advanced telecom infrastructure.” he said.
Mr. Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Group, said, “We have experienced an accelerated digitalisation of Asian societies, and as we move forward, both consumers and businesses expect more advanced services and high-quality connectivity. We believe that the new company can take advantage of this digital shift to support Thailand’s digital leadership role, by taking global technology advancements into attractive services and high-quality products.”
Mr. Jørgen A. Rostrup, Executive Vice President of Telenor Group and Head of Telenor Asia said, “The proposed transaction will advance our strategy to strengthen our presence in Asia, create value, and support long-term market development in the region. We have a long-standing commitment to both Thailand and the Asian region, and this collaboration will strengthen it further. Our access to new technologies as well as the best human capital will be a vital contribution to the new company.”
Mr. Rostrup added that the new company has the intention to raise venture capital funding together with partners of USD 100-200 million to invest in promising digital startups focusing on new products and services for the benefit of all Thai consumers.
Both C.P. Group and Telenor express confidence that this exploration into a partnership will lead to a creation of innovation and technological solutions that benefit Thai consumers and the general public, and contribute to the country’s effort towards becoming a regional technology hub.