Hungarian firm 4iG will purchase Telenor Montenegro from PPF Telecom Group, a Czech investment group. The move follows 4iG’s pending deal to acquire Digi Communications, Hungary’s leading telecommunications and media service group, as it continues its M&A splurge.
“The potential acquisition of the Hungarian DIGI Group represents a huge step forward for 4iG, with the acquisition we can gain a dominant position in a new strategic industry. We intend DIGI to play an important role in the creation of the national telecommunications platform, planned jointly with Antenna Hungária, with which we can open a new chapter in the domestic market,” had said Chairman and CEO of 4iG, Gellert Jaszai, back in March.
“The acquisition of Telenor Montenegro is in line with 4iG’s regional expansion strategy, and the company’s stable background and market position, as well as its strong revenue-generating capacity, can provide high added value for our group,” said Jaszai.
Commenting on the latest move Jaszai also stressed that the 4iG sees significant growth potential in Western Balkans. “In addition to the acquisition just announced, we would like to further increase our presence in the region. To this end, we are constantly exploring investment opportunities in the telecommunications and IT sectors” he elaborated.
Telenor Montenegro is the largest of three operators in the Balkan country with 376,000 connections, according to GSMA Intelligence Q2 figures. It also has 150 base stations, covering all major roads, most tunnels and all the beaches and winter tourist resorts in Montenegro and 4G coverage reaching more than 98 per cent of the population. The company generated €43 million in revenues in 2020.
The parties have agreed to complete the deal by the end of November this year, assuming approval of the Montenegrin authorities. According to the preliminary agreement, 4iG will start due diligence on Telenor Montenegro the results of which are expected at the end of September and will allow it to make a final offer for the acquisition.
Telenor Montenegro was part of a €2.8 billion purchase by PPF Telecom Group comprising Telenor’s telecoms assets in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia. The transaction was completed in 2018.
The Czech investment group had previously acquired O2 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
4iG PLC is listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange. In addition to the acquisition of Telenor Montenegro, 4iG is currently preparing two further acquisitions in the telecommunications sector: in addition to the DIGI Group’s interests in Hungary, the Hungarian group would also acquire a majority stake in the Israeli satellite operator Spacecom.
Telenor Group is a Norwegian majority state-owned multinational telecommunications company. It is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.