PPF completes buy of Telenor’s assets in Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, Hungary

PPF completes buy of Telenor’s assets in Bulgaria, Montenegro, Serbia, Hungary
07/08/2018 , by , in INTERNATIONAL

The Czech Republic-based investment group PPF said on Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of Norwegian mobile operator Telenor’s telecommunications assets in four countries of Central and Eastern Europe – Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia.

“PPF Group has received all the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities and completed all other requisite processes,” it said in a statement.

As a result, PPF Group now holds full control over Telenor’s operations in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia and the technology service provider Telenor Common Operation, PPF added.

The total purchase price of the assets was 2.8 billion euro ($3.3 million) on an enterprise value basis. PPF Group said it has financed the transaction through a syndicated loan.

On Monday, the European Commission approved the sale of Telenor’s assets to PPF saying that “the transaction would raise no competition concerns.”

The CEE operations contributed approximately 11.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.52 billion/1.24 billion euro), or 9% of Telenor Group’s revenues and 4.1 billion Norwegian crowns, or 8% of EBITDA, in 2017, the group said in March. These operations had more than 9 million customers and around 3,500 employees.

Telenor’s combined EBITDA, before other items, of its wireless units in Serbia and Montenegro increased 8.8% on the year to 719 million Norwegian crowns in the first half of 2018. In the January-June period, Telenor Bulgaria’s EBITDA rose to 130 million levs ($78 million/66.5 million euro), from 124 million levs in the first half of 2017.

PPF Group is a private investment group, operating in CEE with approximately 35 billion euro of assets under its control. PPF Group invests in various sectors, including banking, consumer finance, real estate, mining and telecommunications. In February, PPF signed an agreement with Sweden’s Modern Times Group (MTG) to acquire media company Nova Broadcasting Group in Bulgaria.

Telenor has had mobile operations in the CEE region for 25 years. Telenor entered the Montenegrin market in 1996 through the launch of mobile services in the country. In 2006, it acquired Mobi 063 in Serbia. Telenor acquired mobole operator Globul in Bulgaria in 2013.

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