United Arab Emirates-based operator e& signed a deal to acquire shares in PPF Group’s assets in Eastern Europe, as part of its wider strategy to expand beyond its home market.
In a statement, PPF Group detailed e& will acquire a stake of 50% plus one share in PPF Telecom assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia. The deal is expected to close in or before Q1 2024, subject to regulatory approval.
The UAE-based operator will pay €2.15 billion upfront and an additional payment of up to €350 million within three years of closing the deal if certain financial targets are achieved. Around €75 million could be clawed back if certain targets are not achieved, PPF did not provide further details. PPF Telecom CEO Balesh Sharma will remain as boss.
Assets in the Czech Republic which includes O2 Czech Republic and passive infrastructure provider CETIN, will not be part of the transaction and “will be transferred outside the PPF Telecom Group.” PPF stated it will hold 100% indirect shares in O2 Czech Republic and its current indirect share in CETIN Czech.
PPF CEO Jiri Smejc said its units in the Czech Republic are excluded from the deal due to plans to create synergies between the companies. PPF has units in five countries Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia and Slovakia.
Hatem Dowidar, e& Group CEO, added: “As e& continues on its path to be a leading global technology group, our priority remains focused on expanding our customer base and providing them with more digital services, both for consumers and enterprises. This exciting partnership with PPF Group in Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia exemplifies our commitment to seeking new opportunities for collaboration and investment opportunities that will further accelerate our expansion.
“By combining PPF Telecom's expertise with our own innovative capabilities, we are poised to establish a major telecommunications presence in Central and Eastern Europe. We aim to realize synergies, optimize procurement efficiencies, and enhance customer offerings, establishing our position as a leading global tech group.”