AIS affirms acquisition of 3BB and JASIF investment units will benefit consumers from enhanced service quality and innovation to transform Thai home broadband and create sustainable growth for the digital economy
AIS announced that it will proceed with the acquisition of shares in Triple T Broadband plc (3BB) and the purchase of investment units in Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund (JASIF). Despite a condition that the deal was subjected to approval from holders of the JASIF unitholders to cancel the Rental Assurance Agreement, and amendments to the Main Lease Agreement, the company’s Board of Directors now opines that the transaction is in its long-term interest. It therefore passed a resolution for AIS to proceed with the acquisitions of 3BB shares and JASIF units.
It is confirmed that the deal will have long term-benefits for the home broadband sector. It will enable Thai users in any urban or non-urban locations to access high speed digital services and Internet with fiber optic technology. They will also benefit from the rapid rollout of the latest innovations provided by the capabilities of AIS and 3BB, and there will also be a large reduction in redundant fiber optic cabling. Digital infrastructure will be developed to cover all use cases, to level up Thailand’s digitization in every aspect equally and with through coverages.
Mr Tee Seeumpornroj, AIS’ Chief Financial Officer, noted, “AIS is maintaining its mission to develop its broadband network to provide full coverage for all Thai people, while accelerating the rollout of the country’s digital infrastructure. This announcement of investment to expand AIS Fibre is in line with the company’s objectives for its home Internet business, and its overall strategy to become a technology provider company. Despite a resolution passed by JASIF unit holders to not approve amendments to the lease agreement proposed by AIS, the company’s Board of Directors has seen the opportunities from this deal and has the opinion that we should proceed.
“In the matter of reducing the lease fee, which was previously not approved by unitholders of JASIF, despite being an important factor in the considerations, AIS now sees the long-term benefits for business operations to be supported by synergy from the potentials of both companies. 3BB is a long-established provider of home Internet, while AIS is the leader of mobile telecoms and digital services. The AIS Fibre home Internet business has grown rapidly in just a few years and has been widely accepted by customers for its service quality. The two companies combining their strengths will enable more capabilities to provide broadband Internet services through fibre optic cables, and provide better coverage for customers, including increasing and diverse valued exclusive privileges.
“As for opportunities to extend the leasing contract for JASIF network infrastructure after it expires in January 2032, as JASIF unitholders did not approve amendments to the leasing contracts proposed by AIS, the contract extensions require consideration of appropriate cost-effectiveness with respect to the competitive capabilities of AIS and 3BB, and the company will also consider other alternatives as appropriate such as the establishment of AIS’s infrastructure fund to utilize our asset to support long-term business growth”
“Besides resilience and growth from business expansion, AIS is also looking at the big picture of the home Internet sector that still requires operators to be up to speed with the development of fibre optic networks in Thailand so that the investment can be expanded to new locations for the Thai population to receive Internet services, particularly in upcountry or remote locations. As a result, the ability to reach in remoted areas would create competition and more alternatives for consumers. This also enables customers to equally enjoy the benefits of fast and optimal quality Internet services. AIS will proceed to request for approval from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission for this transaction per procedure. After that, a contract to purchase the shares and investment units will be signed, and the transaction is expected to complete in Q1 of 2023,” concluded Mr. Tee.