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It’s official – Pakistan’s telecom industry is about to witness a massive consolidation as the parent companies of Mobilink and Warid Telecom announced on Thursday that they had reached a merger agreement.

A joint press release issued by both companies says Mobilink will first acquire 100 per cent of Warid’s shares in consideration for the Dhabi Group (Warid’s parent company) shareholders acquiring approximately 15pc of Mobilink shares.

The merged entity will serve over 45 million mobile customers and will become the leading high-speed mobile network in Pakistan, claims the release.

The merger will create synergies worth $500m.

"The transaction is expected to close within six months from today, subject to obtaining approvals from the relevant authorities in Pakistan and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions," reads the press release.

Commenting on the agreement, Jean-Yves Charlier, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, Mobilink's parent company, said:

"We are delighted to announce the agreement with the Dhabi Group shareholders today to combine our businesses in Pakistan. With the addition of Warid to our already strong customer base at Mobilink, we will serve more than 45 million customers and offer a best-in-class mobile and high-speed data network – a key factor in the digital enablement of Pakistan’s economy. This transaction follows a number of strategic milestones for the company, including our recent joint venture announcement with WIND and 3 Italia in Italy and the agreement to sell our operations in Zimbabwe. This is yet another important step in our journey to continue delivering on our strategy to transform VimpelCom and improve our competitive position in our operating markets."

The board of the merged company will consist of seven directors, of whom six will be nominated by VimpelCom and GTH (Mobilink) and one nominated by the Dhabi Group shareholders. Upon successful completion of the transaction, Mobilink’s CEO Jeffrey Hedberg will become the CEO of the combined business and Mobilink’s CFO Andrew Kemp will become the CFO of the combined function.

“Creating the largest operator in Pakistan is a significant milestone for Mobilink and Warid but also for Pakistan as a whole. Both parties bring their unique strengths to this merger. Warid, with its strong post-paid base and high quality 4G/LTE network will complement Mobilink’s position in the market,” Dhabi Group Chairman Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak al Nahyan said.

Comments (72) Closed

Muhammad Asif Razzaq Nov 26, 2015 01:43pm

Will "MobiWarid" be the new name?

Muhammad Waseem Unar Nov 26, 2015 01:48pm

it's Great.

Noman Nov 26, 2015 01:50pm

Mobilink and warid merger will lead to third class services for warid users same as mobilink. Mobilink is in win win position.

Noman Nov 26, 2015 01:53pm

Mobilink and Warid slogan be like:


Haseena302 Nov 26, 2015 01:54pm

@Muhammad Asif Razzaq Or MobiTel!

Mudassar saeed Nov 26, 2015 01:57pm

NOT GOOD for the end user because now there'll be even less competition. The companies are moving from oligopoly to Monopoly.

Bilal Nov 26, 2015 01:58pm

Lots of job cuts in both companies coming soon. These cuts will be on top of the recent downsizing done in Mobilink. Not a good time to be a telecom engineer.

FAK Nov 26, 2015 01:58pm

A majore breakthrough, had been coming for sometime though. This would enable fierce competition & would further support the fact that there is only survival for the fittest.

Aysha Batool Nov 26, 2015 01:58pm

that's so sad.. warid was the superb network of all. no other network holds such satisfaction of customers as warid did.! warid customers are going to suffer a lot and this happened just bcz of bad economical policies of our government.

Abbas Nov 26, 2015 02:03pm

Vimelcom is at the middle of very big corruption scandle in Europe. It's quite matching that they are involved in Pakistan too. Telenor of Norway just sold their shares in Vimpelcom and ended their partnership because of corruption.

Ammar Nov 26, 2015 02:06pm

warid was best network in pakistan

The Observer Nov 26, 2015 02:06pm

@Noman well i don't agree. Nowadays to survive in the Market, one has to give good Services otherwise there is always option of network switching.

Wajid Nov 26, 2015 02:23pm

Great news for Warid customers as was getting a bit lost with my Warid connection. Now expecting 3G on my warid sim and also 4g on my Mobilink sim. Hoping they get the network right as want good network (warid) with great offers (mobilink).

Khan Lala Nov 26, 2015 02:25pm

This will decrease competition and increase monopoly....

Competition Commission must apply strict criteria for this process.....

Ayaz Ali Nov 26, 2015 02:32pm

this year's biggest corporate move.

hani Nov 26, 2015 02:40pm

well, we laymen expect the economic call and sms packages which are being invisible day by day

US Nov 26, 2015 02:45pm

It would become "Warilink"..

ZQ Nov 26, 2015 02:58pm

As a Warid customer I am not happy with the news. Using Warid since 2005 and feel that it is the best network, doesn't know the level of quality in future.

Uma Nov 26, 2015 03:02pm

Another indicator for desocialization in the country due to reduced prices people will be getting distant from each other. More night packages, more messaging reduced costs, reduced call rates, etc. It's against people of the country indirectly!

Shafiq Nov 26, 2015 03:07pm

@Ammar "WAS"

Hamza Rasheed Nov 26, 2015 03:12pm

I see Zong taking the lead from here..

Ali Nov 26, 2015 03:13pm

@Muhammad Waseem Unar It's not great because these are the two largest mobile service providers in Pakistan. Before they were each others competition which was good for us because that meant lower call rates and cheaper services. Now that they've teamed up, they have virtually no competition and we can expect to see some ridiculously high prices as they exploit their new position in the market. I should add that it's the government's responsibility to keep mergers like this from happening but I guess all anybody cares about is the size of their own pockets.

haider shaikh Nov 26, 2015 03:26pm

Twin strategy for them: Divide Pakistan in Rural and Urban segments. One should penetrate into the Urban Centers and other the rural Pakistan. Or one should cater to the niche market and other to the mass market.

Hasan Azam Khan Nov 26, 2015 03:31pm

@Mudassar saeed A monopoly is a market structure in which there is only one producer/seller for a product. In other words, the single business is the industry.

Economist must be really mad after reading your comment. Nov 26, 2015 03:36pm

What about the employee

anti-fascist Nov 26, 2015 03:45pm

@Muhammad Asif Razzaq no silly its Mobilink

Apache Nov 26, 2015 03:47pm

Win win for mobilink now they will have both 3G and 4G. just like Zong.

Umair Nov 26, 2015 03:49pm

Ufone will still be the best.

Naeem Siddiq Nov 26, 2015 03:51pm

what about the license? would they share the one license and release the 2nd OR would keep the both licenses occupied so that new player couldnt enter?

M.Saeed Nov 26, 2015 04:01pm

So the UAE is washing its hands from Pakistan? Is it a result of not allowing them houbara bustard hunting ?

Arshad V Nov 26, 2015 04:15pm

Less competition is always bad for end user.

yaara-jee Nov 26, 2015 04:29pm

Well, this was expected and in the pipeline for long.. it finally transpires. Warid customers, be prepared to be serviced by mobilinks pathetic customer service and even worse Network quality.

Azhar jamil Nov 26, 2015 04:30pm

Best of luck! Wishing a good service for public.

yaara_jee Nov 26, 2015 04:40pm

A sad... sad moment for the last, comparable quality driven network. Be ready to be serviced by Mobilinks pathetic customer Service and even worse network quality.

RIP Warid....

yaara_jee Nov 26, 2015 04:44pm

6.67 warid shares to 1 Mobilink share... hmmmmm... that shows the intrinsic valuation for each of the operation. Pray, the operation can finally see a positive EBITDA.

Disgusted Nov 26, 2015 05:03pm

Mobilink has utterly useless service with loads of ads. You can never make a call without glitches. Same with its text message service. Warid is the loser.

Disgusted Nov 26, 2015 05:06pm

@Hamza Rasheed No. Zong is the worst of the lot.

Khalid Nov 26, 2015 05:13pm

Synergies? Well all mergers start with this fascination and end up some where else?

For all those currently satisfied customers of any of both, please don't despair. In the search of synergies this combined entity will have to do something and if it comes at the cost of quality or pricing then Zong and U fone will be (actually should be) breathing down their neck.

So either synergies should bring the cost down (win for customers) without loss of quality or in case of loss of quality, they will loose market share (unless Zong and ufone are sleeping).

Aamir Shahzad Nov 26, 2015 05:14pm

Telenor had already worsened their services. So, now we are left with limited choices to switch to... Warid had the best network and customer satisfaction. Now we might have to opt for Zong or Ufone if they too become equally poor in network

Robson Emanuel Nov 26, 2015 05:19pm

Will 'MOBIRID' be the new name for this new joint venture companies.

Syed Tariq Javed Nov 26, 2015 05:20pm

I am a warid user for past 10 years. A bad news for me. Quality is going to suffer.

Fiz Nov 26, 2015 05:24pm

@Aysha Batool maybe you never tried a good network...

Fiz Nov 26, 2015 05:26pm

Warid worst tareeen network.... worst so called LTE... Even zong 3g is faster than warid LTE....

amjad ali khan Nov 26, 2015 05:33pm

not good for warid customers. warid is the best in term of quality.

nizamani Nov 26, 2015 06:18pm

Sad! this had to happen someday! Next there will be another merger in near future. now we will see reduced competation, poor quality, extra charges, job cuts. ultimately Only customer will los. Thanks to IMF minister mr. dar doing business become eassy

Pragmatic Pakistani Nov 26, 2015 06:24pm

Mergers can ultimately lead to monopalies which is bad for the customers.

Tamza Nov 26, 2015 07:11pm

@The Observer That is true in a COMPETITIVE market with buyer-power and choice. When you remove choice you have poor quality/ choice and higher price.

"@Noman well i don't agree. Nowadays to survive in the Market, one has to give good Services otherwise there is always option of network switching."

M Jamal Nov 26, 2015 07:33pm

In future ufone and zong will merge.Monopoly commission must seriously look into merger case.

Karim Mombani Nov 26, 2015 07:48pm

Warid like other concerns of DHABI group was loosing money. This had to happen one day, at least Warid would get something out of the deal. But again is it really a merger or a takeover which might come as news after 6 months....

Wajid Nov 26, 2015 07:54pm

I expect more reseasonable calling & net packages for students and individual users

Naseer Nov 26, 2015 08:03pm

Want to know if govt of Pakistan would benefit from this deal , these companies haven't paid there dues in past , 3G fees and Taxes havent been paid yet

Khan- Pakistani Nov 26, 2015 08:06pm

This is more about controlling the market and monopoly .

Nadeem akhtar Nov 26, 2015 08:23pm

It is best for mobilink w give 3G\4G network service.competing zong.

Nadeem akhtar Nov 26, 2015 08:29pm

It is best for two

SABIREEN Nov 26, 2015 08:54pm

Further jobs cuts and losses to the services providers and employees. Despite increase in the profit, Mobilink has expelled hundreds of employees on the pretext of down size over the past 5 years, some forced to work on half emolument and lower grade by performing tricks of shifting employees from one vendor(service provider) to another. They even disregard SC orders on minimum wages and take full advantage of the joblessness in the country where people have no choice but to work under adverse conditions. They are doing all this because they are well connected to the corrupt politicians.

Samee Nov 26, 2015 09:09pm

@M Jamal Neither Ufone and ZONG would merge nor Telenor will merge either.

Divergence Nov 26, 2015 10:42pm

There should be more players entering into telecom sector, with less companies dominating the telecom sector, the quality would go down and there would be less options available to the people which they could choose from.

Mir Hammal Nov 26, 2015 10:46pm

It's both, a good and a bad news, but if the companies use this oppurtunity to its maximum potential which includes both money generation and customer satisfaction, its only a good news. To people who are worried about monopoly, its still far away. We, as customers, still have 3 others networks to migrate plus merging is not something usual, warid was loosing its customer share day by day.

Taha Nov 27, 2015 12:02am

warid will become history in terms of call quality..zong telenor when merged will beat warid mobilink together

Disparate Nov 27, 2015 03:42am

Warid was struggling for a long time. 3g/4g users of the new company will get better service but existing 2g users of Warid will be the losing side. After a while when the ecosystem adjusts accordingly, it will be better for mobile users of Pakistan.

Khurram Nov 27, 2015 11:02am

Now it's upon Mobilink what they take call charges from end users, No competition.....,

Khurram Sharif Nov 27, 2015 11:04am

Now it's upon Mobilink what they like to take charges from end users, because no competition. Less competition will take the call / SMS / Internet charges high.

Aayankhan Nov 27, 2015 11:22am

Maybe new name will "Mobirid" or Mobiwid" :)

Al Haj Bashir Nov 27, 2015 12:45pm

Hello, Kindly heave some light on the treatment of Goodwill (whether calculated on proportionate or full basis). further please enlighten us about the Non controlling interest, there after called as NCI in the above mentioned merger and the treatment and calculation of NCI. We will appreciate the workings. Kind Regards, Bash.

UMER Nov 27, 2015 03:26pm

Big win for Mobilink and Warid users will suffer.

Salman Nov 27, 2015 04:40pm

@Asif Razzaq: It is going to be "MayWeLink"

hamadullah Sohu Nov 27, 2015 06:25pm

@Muhammad Asif Razzaq I don't think name will be changed. It will remain Mobilink

hamadullah Sohu Nov 27, 2015 06:25pm

@Haseena302 Yes. Might be MobiTel

hamadullah Sohu Nov 27, 2015 06:26pm

@UMER I don't users of Warid will suffer. Yes might be employees of Warid may suffer.

Habib Nov 28, 2015 07:29am

@Mudassar saeed dude how come monopoly still there is telenor ufone zong

shahzaib Nov 28, 2015 11:00am

seems to me like a hostile takeover rather than a simple merger between the two telecom giants. i don't understand warid had a bright start in the 4G department wonder what made it sell to mobilink.

Blitzer Nov 28, 2015 11:13am

This is very bad news for the customers. Warid and Telenor were truly innovative players when they launched in Pakistan while Mobilink provided the crappiest services at obscenely high rates. It was only through fierce competition between Mobilink, Ufone, Warid, Telenor and Zong that the cell phone customers in Pakistan were enjoying good service and excellent pricing. Expect that to change with the behemoth that will be created by Warid-Mobilink merger. Like the automobile sector of Pakistan, innovation will grind to a halt, prices will undoubtedly be revised upwards and QoS will suffer.