RealTime IT News

Investor, Ericsson, Hutchison Target Asia Wireless

Swedish holding company Investor, wireless mogul Ericsson and Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa this week jointly bought the majority stake in Asia wireless player Guoco Land Ltd. for $177 million.

Bolstered with the new funds, the company intends to develop mobile applications and content. Through the purchase, the three investors will effectively gain a back-door entry to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where Guoco is currently listed.

Guoco will be renamed Investor once the acquisition is complete, in line with Investor's position as the largest single shareholder with a 33.7 percent stake. Ericsson follows with a 16.4 percent stake, and Hutchison will control a 9.9 percent shareholding.

Guoco Group, a member of the Hong Leong Group Malaysia, will retain 24.2 percent of the enlarged share capital.

"In this partnership among Investor, Ericsson and Hutchison, we will be able to contribute not only capital but also advanced knowledge and a broad network in the Asian region," said Marcus Wallenberg, President of Investor AB.

Investor's financial contribution to the deal will also be used in the Investor Capital Partners - Asia Fund, L.P., a venture capital firm in development. The fund will act as Investor's acquisition and growth capital vehicle in Asia.

"The mobile Internet is sweeping the globe, and Asia will be a key development centre," said Kurt Hellstrm, President of Ericsson. Hutchison group managing director Canning Fok said the three companies intend to continue with other cooperation deals in the future.