Business / Companies

Network firm to get more State support

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-10-10 13:14

China Reform Holdings Corp, an investment firm charged with revamping State-owned enterprises, plans to buy a stake in China Tower Corp, valued at more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Beijing-based company aims to buy about 6 percent of China Tower, which is being set up to own the wireless infrastructure of the nation's major mobile carriers, according to the people. A deal could be signed as soon as this month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

China Reform's investment would help China Tower pay for construction of a network of electric-car charging stations, the people said. The government wants to boost availability of the facilities, which are key to the adoption of such vehicles, and assigned China Tower to build out the network because it already has a nationwide footprint with its telecommunications assets, they said.

The central government is seeking to overhaul China's bloated $16 trillion State-owned enterprises as the world's second-largest economy heads for its slowest growth in a quarter century. China Mobile Ltd and its two smaller rivals announced plans last year to create China Tower by pooling their wireless tower assets and reduce investment duplication as the country rolls out faster networks.

A final agreement between government-run China Reform and China Tower has not yet been completed, and details could change or the deal could be delayed. Wireless market leader China Mobile, China Telecom Corp and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd aim to inject a combined 300 billion yuan of assets into the tower venture this year, people with knowledge of the matter said in July.

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