Billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s AIS To Expand Broadband Network With $908 Million Acquisition
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Advanced Info Service—backed by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy Development and Southeast Asia’s biggest telco Singtel—is buying Triple T Broadband and an infrastructure fund for 32.4 billion baht ($908 million) to expand the reach of its network across Thailand.

Under the deal, AIS will buy internet provider Triple T from Jasmine International for 19.5 billion baht, and a 19% stake in Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund for 12.9 billion baht, Tee Seeumpornroj, chief financial officer of AIS, said in an exchange filing.

“This acquisition will enhance consumer access to broadband’s better quality of service by improving broadband inclusion in new areas targeting the upcountry and non-city areas,” Tee said. “This aligns with our business direction to grow the broadband business and effectively develop the nation’s fiber infrastructure.”

The transaction will boost the broadband market share of AIS, whose unit Advanced Wireless Network had 1.9 million subscribers as of March. That compares with industry leader True’s more than 4.6 million subscribers. True—which is backed by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanonnt’s Charoen Pokphand Group and China Mobile—is planning to merge with Telenor ASA in a deal that could potentially topple AIS as the country’s biggest mobile operator.

Sarath, whose flagship company Gulf Energy took a controlling interest in AIS and its parent InTouch last year, has been diversifying into telecommunications and digital businesses. He has a net worth of $11.1 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaires data.

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