29 May 2010
P1 GETS US$100 MILLION INVESTMENT & EXPERTISE OF KOREA’S LEADING GLOBAL TELCO
Forms Strategic Alliance with SK Telecom to Advance WiMAX in MALAYSIA
KUALA LUMPUR - SK Telecom, a leading mobile service provider in Korea, and Packet One Networks (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (“P1”), which is the 4G WiMAX Telecommunications company (Telco) arm and a subsidiary of Green Packet Berhad (Green Packet), today announced a strategic alliance, under which SK Telecom will acquire an approximately 25 percent stake in P1 for a cash consideration of the Ringgit Malaysia equivalent of US$100 million to become its second largest shareholder after Green Packet.
The SK Telecom investment would be used to continue P1’s nation-wide WiMAX rollout over the next 2-3 years , to accelerate and expand its customer acquisition activities and for general corporate purposes. SK Telecom plans to make available to P1 its substantial technology and network expertise as well as its customer products portfolio, helping P1 to achieve its goal of a robust, high performance network and an outstanding level of customer service. Through this alliance, P1 would have access to SK Telecom’s network and operational management experience and its global procurement resources allowing it to further enhance its operational and financial performance.
SK Telecom’s partnership with P1, which is the world No.2 4G WiMAX Telco (on 802.16e 2.3 GHz WiMAX), aims to position SK Telecom to participate in other WiMAX and wireless broadband opportunities across Southeast Asia and other emerging markets.
CC Puan, Group Managing Director and CEO of Green Packet Berhad, said, “P1’s strategic alliance with SK Telecom will significantly enhance P1’s ability to serve the Malaysian broadband user needs with 4G WiMAX technology. Moreover, having access to SK Telecom’s expertise as a leading global Telco, supports our strategic agenda to be the leading 4G WiMAX Telco in Malaysia and eventually in the region.”
Puan went on the comment, “Korea is the leading example of a country rising from a low level of ICT access to one of the highest in the world. It represents an impressive and relevant case-study on how a nation can be transformed through broadband technology with one of the highest PC and broadband penetration rates and fastest connectivity in the world. Through this alliance, Malaysia as a nation can draw from this experience in pursuing its own broadband penetration goals.”
The signing of the definitive agreement for the strategic alliance was witnessed by His Excellency Bong Ryull Yang, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea; Yang Berhormat Dato’ Joseph Salang Gandum, Malaysia’s Information, Communication and Culture Deputy Minister; and Tae-gun Hyung, the Commissioner of South Korean regulator Korea Communications Commission.
Michael Lai, CEO of P1, said, “In the 1990s, South Korea set a priority that it would be a highly connected country with a high degree of Internet literacy. Today the country has one of the fastest broadband connections with more than 94 percent of its population connected to high-speed broadband. With the support of the government, South Korea's telecommunications providers have built the world's most comprehensive Internet network, supplying affordable and reliable access to the public. We, together with the government of Malaysia are determined to follow suit and continue to chart our path to fulfill P1’s ‘Broadband for All’ mission.”
“Our partnership with SK Telecom will not only help expedite our nationwide WiMAX rollout to reach 65% population coverage by 2012, but will also contribute to our key priorities of optimizing our network and customer satisfaction, further enabling us to deliver high quality broadband to all Malaysians,” he continued.
Ki Haeng Cho, President of SK Telecom’s GMS CIC (Company In Company) said, “The Malaysian market has great potential for growth and the partnership with P1, the leading WiMAX provider of Malaysia, is an extremely attractive opportunity for SK Telecom. The alliance will allow SK Telecom to rise as a global telecommunications company based on its cutting edge technology and innovative marketing tools.”
With the strong support of Intel, a leading technology giant, P1 has developed an unparalleled platform to champion WiMAX in Southeast Asia. Intel, in collaboration with P1, today launched Malaysia's first WiMAX ready 4G laptops, fortifying the leading technology giant’s commitment in developing WiMAX globally. In 2008, Intel invested approximately US$15 million (RM50 million) via parent company, Green Packet Berhad, to support P1’s deployment plans.
Today's announcements with both SK Telecom and Intel are a significant milestone for Malaysia and for WiMAX. SK Telecom’s partnership and vested interest in P1 represents the first investment by a foreign Telco into a WiMAX operator in Malaysia, and reinforces the bright future of the first large-scale commercial deployment of mobile WiMAX in Southeast Asia, and the first large-scale deployment of a 802.16e 2.3 GHz WiMAX network outside Korea.
Capitalizing on its first-mover advantage in Malaysia, P1 has established itself as the market leader in high-speed wireless broadband access for both consumers and businesses in Malaysia. Since its commercial launch on August 19, 2008, P1 have acquired more than 175,000 subscribers (at end March 2010).
J.P.Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor to Green Packet Berhad and Packet One Networks, and DBS Bank Ltd. acted as exclusive financial advisor to SK Telecom on the transaction.