Asia Pacific Telecom approves merger with Far EasTone

Asia Pacific Telecom and FET had previously announced a partnership to provide 5G services on Taiwan’s 3.5 GHz frequency band

Taiwanese operator Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) approved a merger with rival telco Far EasTone Telecommunications during an extraordinary shareholders meeting, held on April 15.

APT said that following the merger of the two operators, Far EasTone will be the surviving company and APT will be dissolved.

APT also noted that the merger is expected to be concluded by the end of September. As part of the deal Far EasTone assume the APT’s total assets and liabilities. The merger is subject to approval by the National Communications Commission and the Fair Trade Commission.

Earlier this year, Far EasTone Telecommunications had announced it would merge with Asia Pacific Telecom in a stock-swap deal.

The deal is valued at NT$24.7 billion ($882 million), according to Far EasTone.

Under the terms of the merger deal, APT will use one common share in exchange for 0.093 shares. For the stock swap, Far EasTone will issue 356.68 million common shares including 93.44 million shares through a private placement.

Far EasTone said its number of customers would increase from current 7.05 million to 9.2 million as a result of the merger with APT.

In December 2021, Taiwan Mobile had announced a merger with smaller competitor Taiwan Star Telecom Corp. After the two merger deals are fully completed, Taiwan will have three major telecom operators left namely Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan Mobile, and Far EasTone.

In September 2021, Far EasTone secured an 11.58% stake in Asia Pacific Telecom through a private placement to become the second-largest shareholder after Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which owns a 36% stake.

In March 2021, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) gave conditional approval for Asia Pacific Telecom to share Far EasTone Telecommunications’ 5G frequencies using its own 5G network.

In September 2020, FET and APT had announced a partnership to provide 5G services on Taiwan’s 3.5 GHz frequency band.

According to previous report, the NCC approved the application with two specific conditions.

First, the two carriers have committed to deploy 2,000 more base stations to expand their 5G coverage. Under this plan, FET aims to install 500 5G base stations and 1,000 4G sites within one to two years, while APT is expected build 500 4G base stations.

Both operators are currently providing a 5G service under a Non-Standalone architecture, meaning that the offering still relied in 4G technology.

Second, the two operators are to set up a task force to ensure that both have the ability to control the 5G network and monitor information security issues.

The agreement, which is enabled by the country’s Telecommunications Management Act, gives APT access to FET’s frequencies on the 3.5GHz band for a 20-year period. In return, APT has agreed to pay about NT$9.47 billion, or the equivalent of two-ninths of the network deployment costs.

Comments are closed.