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Hutchison raises $2bn in soap sale

Ditches Chinese joint venture

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Hutchison Whampoa, owner of UK mobile network 3, is selling its stake Chinese joint venture with soap behemoth Procter and Gamble to its partner for $2bn.

The business, set up in 1988, sells shampoo and baby products in mainland China. Hutchison is looking for cash to offset continuing losses from its 3G networks.

In March Hutchison announced the sale of telecoms companies in eight mainly Asian countries and its fixed-line business in Hong Kong. Pressure has been increased by rumours that DoCoMo is keen to sell off its 20 per cent stake in UK operator 3. In March this year the telco paid off more than £1bn in debts racked up by 3.

Canning Fok, managing director at Hutchison, told Bloomberg: "This non-core asset has nothing to do with 3G. We do not have any funding pressure."®

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