Telenor Group Finds Buyer for Wave Money Stake at Discounted $53M Price

Telenor Group, a provider of tele, data, and media communication services across Asia and the Baltics, this week announced it will be selling its 51 per cent stake in Digital Money Myanmar, a digital payment solutions provider that is also known by the name Wave Money. The buyer, at a $53 million price, is Yoma MFS Holdings, a subsidiary of Yoma Strategic. That tab will be paid by a group of investors led by Yoma Strategic. The deal is still subject to completion and final funding.

Upon completion of terms, Yoma Strategic will be the controlling shareholder of Wave Money.

“This acquisition reinforces Yoma Strategic’s desire to build a strong financial and technology ecosystem in the country over the long term,” Yoma Strategic CEO Melvyn Pun said. “The digitization in the economy, in particular in financial services, has been remarkable for Myanmar. We are pleased that Wave Money has positively transformed the way of life of people in Myanmar, bringing financial inclusion to the masses,”

“We have worked in partnership with Yoma Strategic to ensure that anyone from anywhere can digitally send and receive money, make contactless and secure payments in-stores or online using the market-leading mobile wallet app of Wave Money,” Telenor Group head of financial services Lars Erik Tellmann said. “We are confident that Yoma have the commitment and vision to take Wave Money forward to the next level of driving financial inclusion.”

Wave Money debuted in late 2016 and was a joint venture of Yoma Bank and Telenor Group. Telenor Group had recently been granted a license to work under the regulations of Myanmar’s Mobile Financial Services Regulation. Telenor Group was the first non-bank institution to earn such a license.

The company’s plans were rocked following the 2021 coup that kiboshed Ant Financial’s plans to buy a minority share for $73.5 million. Reports also have them losing more than 50 per cent of their users in 2021, leading to a steep valuation drop.

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