Norwegian telco Telenor has agreed to sell its Pakistan business to state group Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

Telenor has agreed to sell the unit for $490 million.

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The telco first launched in Pakistan 18 years ago, and has built a subscriber base of more than 45 million.

Telenor had been considering a merger deal in the country, but has now decided to sell entirely.

Telenor has previously completed merger deals in Malaysia and Thailand.

In September, PTCL confirmed that it has been authorized to submit a binding offer for the takeover of an unspecified mobile operator, widely reported to be Norwegian carrier Telenor, which has previously signaled its intention to exit the market.

An exit from the market was estimated to be worth around $1 billion for Telenor, but has been confirmed to be worth less than half that.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals but is expected to close next year. Telenor said it did not expect the sale to have a significant financial impact on the business.

The company has a presence in the mobile sector through its wholly-owned subsidiary Pakistan Telecommunication Mobile Limited (PTML), which uses the Ufone brand and has over 24.5 million subscribers in Pakistan.

Telenor completed its exit from Myanmar last year after agreeing to sell its local operations to Lebanese holding company M1 Group for $105 million.