Norwegian state telecommunications operator Telenor has become the latest and most well-known company to leave Myanmar after a military coup in February, selling its operations to a Lebanese family investment group.

The Norwegian group, which was under increasing pressure as Myanmar’s junta restricted Internet access in a broader crackdown, Said on thursday Selling a local business for $ 105 million to M1 Group, an investment company founded by the former Prime Minister of Lebanon and his brothers.

“The situation in Myanmar has become increasingly difficult for Telenor in the last few months due to people’s security, regulation and compliance. We evaluate all options and selling the company is the best solution. “I believe that,” said Sigve Brekke, Telenor’s CEO.

Telenor, licensed to do business in Myanmar in 2013, was considered the cornerstone of foreign investors. The withdrawal will hurt the maintenance efforts of military leaders. Business trust..

Japanese brewery Giraffe And Korean steel makers POSCO Both announced that they would withdraw from a joint venture with a conglomerate under Myanmar’s military control, but the oil group said Chevron and total We will continue to be an investor in major gas fields.

Norwegian group already Amortization He said he believed that the entire $ 780 million investment in the country in May could still “make a difference” in Myanmar.

Brekke told the Financial Times that Telenor’s dilemma is “how can we operate in a country with a military dictatorship without jeopardizing our values?”

On Thursday, he told FT: Both were pretty good investments. .. .. And more than that, we have seen ways that have contributed to the development of the country. “

M1 has been active in Myanmar for a long time and was previously a stakeholder in IGT, a major telecom tower operator in Myanmar. sold out Became a private equity fund CVC earlier this year.

M1 was founded by Brothers Taha and Najib Mikati. Najib is the Prime Minister of Lebanon on two separate occasions, Supported by Hezbollah, Shiite militia designated by the United States as a terrorist group.

Determined by Forbes to have $ 2.7 billion each, the Mikati brothers have been successful in telecommunications in Lebanon and throughout Africa.

M1 is currently paying Telenor $ 50 million and will defer $ 55 million over the next five years. Telenor has invested 5.3 billion NKr ($ 604 million) in Myanmar over a seven-year period and recently invested 3.2 billion NKr in dividends, a $ 600 million company for debt and future debt. He said it meant value.

Reuters report This week, Myanmar’s military junta told senior foreign telecommunications executives not to leave the country without permission. Telenor declined to comment.

Myanmar’s Telenor and other telecommunications groups, including Qatar’s Ooredoo and military-backed operators I was forced to disconnect Mobile and internet services by Military Junta. Norwegian group registered “strong protest” against crackdown, New cybersecurity law It will give the administration a radical power for digital content.

“For the past two months, all three areas [safety of employees, regulatory and compliance concerns] It got worse. No improvement has been seen, “Brekke added,” it was important for Telenor to support our values. “

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