Vodafone and China Mobile Back Out of Myanmar License Deal

A consortium consisting of Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD  ) and China Mobile (NYSE: CHL  ) have opted to remove themselves from consideration for two telecom licenses to be awarded in the country of Myanmar, Vodafone announced today.

In an effort to improve its telecommunications coverage, Myanmar had announced its intention to grant two mobile licenses in January of this year, and received 22 application bids from 18 international mobile providers. Last month, Myanmar's telecom ministry reduced the initial list of approved bidders to 12, which included the Vodafone and China Mobile consortium.

In advance of the June 3 deadline to submit formal proposals for one of the two 15-year licenses, the Vodafone-China Mobile consortium has decided "not to proceed with the process as the opportunity does not meet the strict internal investment criteria to which both Vodafone and China Mobile adhere," the company said. The consortium's decision to withdraw from the bidding process follows a review of Myanmar's final license conditions released on May 20.

According to the announcement, Vodafone and China Mobile will, "continue to watch Myanmar's progress with interest and will give due consideration to any future opportunities that would meet the companies' investment criteria."


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