Abu Dhabi Group (the majority shareholder of Wateen Telecom) and New Silk Route Private Equity (PE) Asia Fund (the ultimate majority shareholder of Augere/Qubee), announced their intention to combine their wireless broadband businesses in Pakistan. The agreement will see Wateen and Qubee forming the second largest broadband service provider in Pakistan, with over 200,000 subscribers.
With the formation of a new business, Wateen and Qubee intend to re-energize the wireless broadband market with planned investments of more than US$25 million for the improvement and expansion in coverage of the combined network of both companies.. The network upgrade will make it a best in class high speed broadband network with the phased upgrade to 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology that will contribute to a broadband revolution in Pakistan and significantly enhance its position in the new digital economy. The new business also intends to make investments available to introduce innovative value added services and devices to improve broadband penetration in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Naeem Zamindar, CEO of Wateen Telecom stated “We are confident that the formation of the new broadband business will usher in a new era of collaboration for the broadband industry and leap-frog the challenges in its aim to provide access to high-speed 4G data, seamless connectivity and cutting edge digital services for the people of Pakistan.”
Jamal Nasir Khan, CEO of Augere’s business in Pakistan said, “We are delighted to announce the formation of this new stronger broadband business in Pakistan. We believe that the combined business will be able to better serve customers by providing high capacity affordable broadband connections which will drive up penetration in Pakistan, allowing an ever larger number of people to join the digital community with superfast access to the internet.”
The transaction is subject to the requisite corporate, regulatory and governmental approvals, and is targeted to be completed within the first half of year 2014.