• December 1, 2022

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Gulf Energy—controlled by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi—is spending as much as 10.9 billion baht ($292 million) to take over satellite operator Thaicom as Thailand’s biggest private power producer deepens its investments in the telecommunications industry.

Under the deal, Gulf Energy will acquire 41% of Thaicom for 4.5 billion baht from affiliate Intouch Holdings, the parent company of Thailand’s biggest mobile carrier Advanced Info Service (AIS). The company will spend another 6.4 billion baht to buy the rest of the company from from other shareholders.

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The acquisition will create opportunities for Gulf Energy to further expand its telecommunications business, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday. Gulf Energy has been diversifying into new business with the acquisition last year of stakes in Singtel-backed InTouch and its wireless unit AIS.

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In January, Gulf Energy partnered with billionaire Changpeng Zhao’s Binance—the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange by volume—to build a digital asset exchange platform in Thailand. It has also tied up with Singtel to set up data centers across the country.

Gulf Energy was founded by Sarath in 2007. With a net worth of $11.1 billion, Sarath ranked no. 4 in the list of Thailand’s 50 Richest that was published in June.

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