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Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison calls off Italian telecoms joint venture with Sweden's EQT

CK Hutchison Holdings, one of the two flagship companies of Hong Kong's richest man, Li Ka-shing, has terminated a plan to form a new Italian telecoms company with Swedish private equity firm EQT Infrastructure, 10 months after its announcement.

The Hong Kong conglomerate had planned to transfer its network equipment and wholesale mobile and fixed communications services business in its Italian mobile business Wind Tre to EQT Infrastructure.

However, the deal fell through as "the conditions precedent to closing of the deal were not satisfied," CK Hutchison said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday evening.

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The two parties had previously agreed to extend finalising the deal in November.

Announced last May, the deal envisaged EQT taking a 60 per cent stake in Wind Tre's newly created network venture, comprising radio antennas, base stations and associated contracts. The deal had set an enterprise value for the joint venture company of €3.4 billion (US$3.7 billion).

EQT also confirmed the decision to scrap the deal.

The company "will continue to explore alternative infrastructure transactions, including with CK Hutchison should the appropriate opportunity arise," EQT said in a statement.

In November 2020, CK Hutchison agreed to sell its European wireless tower business to Spanish mobile towers operator Cellnex Telecom for €10 billion.

The company agreed in 2021 to merge its Indonesian wireless telecommunications business with the local operations of Qatar's Ooredoo to form Indonesia's second biggest mobile carrier.

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2024 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2024. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.