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Hutch Lanka to merge with Etisalat

Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison Group has announced plans to merge its Sri Lankan mobile unit Hutch Lanka with UAE-based Etisalat’s mobile business in the nation Etisalat Lanka.

The combined company will be majority owned and controlled by CK Hutchison, the company said in a statement.

The merger is aimed at better positioning the companies to serve their Sri Lankan customers, and is part of Etisalat’s ongoing portfolio optimization strategy.

The deal still requires competition and regulatory approvals in Sri Lanka as well as other closing conditions.

If approved, the merger would reduce the number of mobile operators in Sri Lanka from five to four and put the combined company in a better position to compete with incumbents Dialog Axiata and Mobitel.

According to GSMA Intelligence, Etisalat Lanka has a roughly 13% share of the local market, while Hutch Lanka has around 10%. This compares to 45% for market leader Dialog  Aixiata and 24% for Mobitel. The remaining 8% is controlled by Bharti Airtel Lanka.

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