June 20, 2008

Telefonica Plans to Acquire 10% Stake in China Unicom

Spanish telecom company Telefonica has announced plans to acquire a 10% stake in wireless operator China Unicom, one of the two mobile phone operators in China after the country's telecom restructuring.

The company presently owns a 7.2% stake in fixed-line operator China Netcom, which will be diluted to about 3% once China Unicom acquires China Netcom for $24bn this year. Fixed line operator China Telecom will acquire Unicom's mobile-phone assets based on CDMA technology for more than $15bn.

Last month, China announced a telecom restructuring plan which will result in three groups based around China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Netcom in the world's largest telecom market.