Ooredoo eyes M&A opportunities
Company remains interested in acquiring established operators
Qatar's Ooredoo Group continues to see potential for expansion in the region through the acquisition of existing operators, the firm's group CEO, Dr Nasser Marafih, told CommsMEA.
Marafih said that Ooredoo, which is already present in numerous countries in the MENA region and Asia, has its eyes open for opportunities in the form of existing operators including mobile and fixed-line players and ISPs.
"I think if there is going to be an opportunity it will be to acquire an existing operation. I believe there will be opportunities, and the reason for that is we believe the industry needs to consolidate and we see it is increasingly difficult for small operators to exist because their cost structure will not allow them to compete with big companies, because the cost structure would be difficult for them to sustain growth," Marafih said.
"So we are going to be patient, when those opportunities come we will look at them. When we consider that, we need to make sure that this would make sense for us to acquire an operation, because there are a number of criteria that we use in order to look at those opportunities."
The company would steer away from green field opportunities however. "In terms of new ones, I don't think new licences make sense any more for green field. Myanmar was an exception because of the low penetration," the CEO added.
Ooredoo recently won a mobile licence in Myanmar and is currently in the process of preparing to deploy a network in the country.