July 25, 2014 / 8:16 AM / 3 years ago

Thai True Corp shareholders approve stake sale to China Mobile

BANGKOK, July 25 (Reuters) - Shareholders of Thailand’s True Corp Pcl on Friday approved a plan to sell new shares to China Mobile Ltd.

China Mobile has agreed to buy an 18 percent stake in True for $881 million in Thailand’s first major corporate deal since the military coup in May.

The share sale is part of True Corp’s plan to raise funds via a $2 billion equity issue.

True Corp, 59 percent owned by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont’s Charoan Pokphand Group, plans to use 52 billion baht ($1.63 billion) from the proceeds to repay part of its 95 billion baht debt, with the rest for future investment, the company has said.

The debt repayment will help reduce True’s debt-to-equity ratio to just 0.6 from 11 at the end of the first quarter, analysts say.

True Corp is the only Thai telecoms operator offering a full range of services from mobile, fixed-line phones to broadband Internet and cable television. ($1 = 31.8500 Thai Baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong and Manunphattr Dhanananphorn; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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