Far EasTone strengthens wireline status by acquiring remaining stake in NCIC

Taiwan-based wireless operator Far EastTone Telecommunications wants to challenge wireline/wireless competitors such as former state-run monopoly Chungwa Telecom, and it thinks the right answer could be found by acquiring the remaining 73.26 percent stake in wireline operator New Century Infocomm Tech Co. (NCIC) for $646.8 million.

Hoping to improve enhance its service offerings by offering driving more blended wireless/wireline services, Far EasTone will purchase 1.90 billion shares of unlisted NCIC shares via a public tender that begins today and will run through August 16.

Far EastTone exchanged a four percent stake in itself in order to obtain a 24.51 percent piece of NCIC owned by Singapore in 2007. Today, Far EasTone has a 26.74 percent piece of NCIC, which offers its services through the Sparq brand.

However, Far EasTone is not the only mobile service provider to buy its way into the wireline market. Competing mobile operator Taiwan Mobile also became an integrated wireline/wireline market when it acquired Taiwan Fixed Network Co.

For more:
- Wall Street Journal has this article (sub. req.)

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