CK Hutchison completed an acquisition of Etisalat’s operation in Sri Lanka, a move which will see the country’s third- and fourth-largest players combine operations in a bid to compete with market leader Dialog Axiata.

The company bought Etisalat’s operation outright, with the latter receiving a 15 per cent stake in CK Hutchison’s Hutch Lanka operation  as part of the deal. The remaining 85 per cent is owned by the parent company.

While the deal was first announced in April, it was subject to clearance by regulators. At the time, the pair said Etisalat’s exit from the market was part of the UAE-based company’s portfolio optimisation strategy.

On Q3 2018 GSMA intelligence estimates, the combined connections of the two operators give the new company a market share of 23 per cent.

Dialog had a share of 45 per cent, followed by Mobitel with 24 per cent. The remaining 8 per cent is held by Bharti Airtel’s local operation.