Telenor has sold its assets in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to PPF Group for EUR 2.8 billion, the company has announced.
The transaction includes Telenor’s wholly-owned mobile operations in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia and the technology service provider Telenor Common Operation, a statement said.
The CEE operations contributed approximately nine percent of Telenor Group’s revenues and eight percent of EBITDA in 2017, and have more than 9 million customers and around 3,500 employees, the company added.
“Telenor Group’s strategy is based on growth, efficiency and simplification. With the sale of our CEE assets, we take an important step in simplifying and focusing Telenor’s portfolio on the regions where we see the strongest potential for value creation. Following this transaction, Telenor’s footprint will consist of integrated fixed and mobile operations in Scandinavia, and strong mobile positions in Asia. Telenor is confident that PPF Group’s experience in both the region and sector will make it a good owner of the CEE assets,” Sigve Brekke, Telenor Group CEO, is quoted as saying.
PPF, meanwhile, “is the largest private investment group in CEE with approximately EUR 35 billion of assets under its control,” Telenor said.
The Dutch investment fund “invests in various sectors, including banking, consumer finance, real estate, mining and telecommunications” it was added. Previous transaction experience includes the acquisition of O2 Czech Republic from Telefonica in 2013 and Nova Broadcasting Group in Bulgaria in 2018.
“With this purchase, PPF Group is expanding its telecommunications portfolio to four more countries, and fulfilling our long-held goal to become a mid-sized European operator and to use our experience to strengthen our market position,” said Ladislav Bartonicek, PPF Group’s shareholder responsible for telecommunications assets.
The transaction requires necessary regulatory approval and is expected to be completed within Q3 2018.
Norway’s Telenor entered the Serbian market in 2006 by acquiring mobile operator Mobi 063 for EUR 1.5 billion.