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.

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