South Korea-based mobile telecommunications company SK Telecom has signed an agreement to acquire 38.89% stake in broadband service operator Hanarotelecom for approximately $1.18 billion to expand its operations.
With this acquisition, the total stake of SK Telecom in Hanarotelecom will reach 44%. The acquisition would enable SK Telecom to expand into markets such as internet television programming and offer products that combine fixed-line and wireless services.
The deal follows the liberalization in the telecom regulation, which would enable service providers to offer bundled fixed line, cellular, and other communications services.
According to Korean government data, 90% of South Koreans already own handsets, and 90% of household have high-speed internet access. Due to this market saturation, SK Telecom has been looking to expand abroad and recently acquired a stake in China Unicom, a mobile operator in China.
According to the Reuters, SK Telecom is also looking to enter the US markets, and invested in Helio, a wireless venture with Earthlink in November 2007. It also offered to buy a stake in Sprint Nextel last month for $5 billion which was rejected.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates