Vietnam's VTC not giving up on buying EVN Telecom

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Vietnamese cable television firm VTC said it is still pursuing a plan to buy a stake in EVN Telecom, an arm of the state utility Electricity of Vietnam.

Nguyen Hoang Phong, director of VTC's Digital Communications Co., said Thursday that EVN Telecom has delayed its plan to sell shares. However, the state-owned cable TV firm is determined to invest in EVN Telecom anyway, Phong said.

VTC, which also offers phone and internet services, originally planned to buy a 30 percent stake in EVN Telecom. Negotiations between the companies reportedly halted in May.

Vu Duc Dam, chairman of the government office, said last week that the government plans to withdraw its investment in EVN Telecom. He said several companies including VTC, FPT and Hanoi Telecom were interested in acquiring EVN Telecom.

Military-run Viettel, believed by industry insiders to have the best odds of winning a mergers and acquisitions deal, said it wanted to take over all assets and infrastructure of EVN Telecom, which is struggling with debts and losses.


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Lao Dong newspaper reported Friday that both VTC and Hanoi Telecom protested such a takeover, saying it would make Viettel a monopolistic player. The two companies said Viettel, already a major player in the market, would control more than 50 percent of the country's facilities for high-speed 3G services, creating an unfair business environment.

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