China Unicom Press Release, 8/14/08
On September 16, and September 17, 2008, China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) and China Netcom (NYSE: CN; 0906.HK) will respectively hold shareholders' meetings to seek shareholder approval for their proposed merger. If the merger is approved, Netcom's shares will be withdrawn from the Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchanges on October 15, 2008, with October 6 as the last day of dealings in the shares on both exchanges. Certificates for the new Unicom shares and the new Unicom ADSs issued and letters granting the Special Unicom Options will be despatched on or before October 25 2008. The scheme document regarding the proposal as well as the circular containing the details of the proposed merger will be despatched on August 15.
The proposed merger will see Netcom become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unicom, with the new company trading under the name China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. The new company will have over 18,000 sales outlets - 5,000 previously operated by Unicom and 13,000 previously operated by Netcom. The merged company is also expected to have 170,000 base stations and approximately 430,000 Personal Handyphone System (PHS) base stations.
The new Unicom is expected to receive a 3G license for mainland China, and will increase wireless capital expenditure by approximately 100% compared to Unicom's existing wireless capital expenditure. The total 2009 and 2010 wireless capital expenditure is expected to be approximately RMB100 bln and will principally be allocated to the development of its 3G business.
The chairman and CEO of the merged company will be Unicom's current chairman and CEO, Chang Xiaobing.
Editor';s Note: Unicom and Netcom jointly announced on June 23 that Unicom applied to the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited for an extension on the submission of a circular pertaining to its acquisition of China Netcom, as well as an extension for submission of the merger's scheme document. For more background information, please see "Unicom, Netcom Postpone Submission of Merger Documents", MD 6/24/08 issue.