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Business deals

CVC buys Myanmar's largest telecom tower company for $700m

PE fund to acquire Irrawaddy Green Towers in country's second biggest deal

Buddhist devotees take a selfie with a mobile phone at a pagoda in Yangon. Irrawaddy Green Towers serves all major mobile network operators in Myanmar.   © AP

SINGAPORE (Reuters) -- CVC Capital Partners has agreed to buy Myanmar's largest telecom tower company in a deal that sources said was valued at about $700 million and which marks the global buyout firm's first foray into the Southeast Asian country.

The sale of privately-held Irrawaddy Green Towers, which has almost 4,000 towers across Myanmar, is the second-largest deal ever involving Myanmar assets. It is the first investment in Myanmar by CVC, one of the world's biggest private equity firms.

Sources familiar with the matter said CVC was given exclusivity after it was shortlisted from potential buyers, including regional telecoms groups and other companies.

Potential bidders had roped in local consultants and technical advisers to conduct site visits and due diligence during the sale process that took just over a year to be completed, the sources said.

A statement sent to Reuters showed that Irrawaddy's shareholders, including Dubai-based investment firm Blu Stone Management and Lebanon-based M1 Group, had agreed to the sale but it gave no financial details.

"We look forward to continued progress and success, underlining the attractive fundamentals and strong growth of Myanmar's mobile communication sector," M1 Towers Director Jamal Ramadan said.

CVC declined to comment on the deal.

Irrawaddy serves all major mobile network operators in Myanmar, including Norwegian telecom giant Telenor, Qatar-based Ooredoo and local firm Mytel.

Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) was the lead financial adviser, while UBS was the joint financial adviser to Irrawaddy on the deal.

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