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ArianeCorp Gets $300 M Investment

Photonics.com
Dec 2004
SINGAPORE, Dec. 2 -- ArianeCorp Ltd. announced that its telecommunications unit in China, Guangzhou Ariane Telecom Technology Co. Ltd. (GAT), will join forces with an international investment group and a Japanese telecommunications and IT services provider to accelerate the growth of its fiber optic network business in China.

On behalf of ArianeCorp, GAT has inked a memorandum of understanding with Mobile Pro Co. Ltd. for a $300 million investment by the Bansec-Lepta Group in GAT's fiber optic network business in China. Under the terms of the agreement, the investment will be undertaken through a new joint venture company to be incorporated and held by GAT, MobilePro and Bansec.

ArianeCorp will retain a 53 percent majority control of the joint company (through GAT), while Bansec and MobilePro will take the remaining 42 perent and 5 percent stakes, respectively. This initiative to tap China's rapidly growing telecommunications industry is part of ArianeCorp's strategy to reignite growth, given the strong demand there for Internet protocol fiber backbone used for data, voice and video transmissions.

ArianeCorp will contribute its fiber optic network assets in China, presently held by GAT, to the joint venture. GAT operates and owns the legal title to the network, an 11,119-km two-core high bandwidth trunk optical network that spans 13 provinces, connecting over 100 cities and townships in China's fast-growing eastern region. Through GAT's exclusive 20-year technical service agreement, ArianeCorp effectively controls the economic benefits of the optical fiber network.

Bansec, an international investment group that specializes in corporate finance, investment banking advisory services and project financing of infrastructure and real estate projects, will inject $300 million into the new company, in the form of an equity investment and a shareholder loan. It will subscribe for its 42 percent stake in the company, at a price based on a valuation of GAT's fiber optic assets. Bansec will also provide a long-term, non-interest bearing shareholder loan with no fixed repayment date to the company.

MobilePro, a Japanese telecommunications and IT service provider, will, in exchange for its 5 percent share of the joint venture company, contribute its customers' relationships from its existing customer base. The memorandum or understanding is subject to the execution of a formal investment agreement by all parties.

For more information, visit: www.arianecorp.com



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