Linklaters, Allens and Squire Sanders lead on Myanmar telecoms investment

Linklaters, its Asia alliance partner Allens and US firm Squire Sanders have all advised on a deal that will see nationwide fixed and mobile telephone networks developed across Myanmar.

Linklaters and Allens jointly acted for a consortium made up of Japanese telecoms operator KDDI Corporation and Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation in a deal that will see around $2bn (£1.2bn) invested in Myanmar’s telecommunications infrastructure over the next 10 years.

The companies, which have signed a deal with government agency Myanma Posts & Telecommunications, will jointly develop and operate a fixed and mobile phone network, including making 3G available in larger cities.

The Linklaters-Allens team advising on the deal was led by partners Stuart Bedford and Savi Hebbur from the magic circle firm and Allens’ technology, media and telecommunications head Niranjan Arasaratnam. They worked alongside Singapore-based partner Pedro Bernardo of Yangon firm Kelvin Chia Partnership.

Myanma Posts & Telecommunications was advised by Washington DC-based Squire Sanders partner Jonathan Nadler, who has advised on telecoms matters in countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Hong Kong, Peru, South Africa and Sweden.

The current deal is of significance because currently only around 10 per cent of Myanmar’s 65 million population uses a mobile phone. According to Bedford, the development of the mobile networks will aid the country’s economic growth.

 Linklaters signed an exclusive deal with Australian firm Allens (then Allens Arthur Robinson) in 2012, with the two forming a joint venture with the aim of upping Linklaters’ presence in Asia (23 April 2012).