Telenor agreed the 27 billion kroner (Euro 2.8 billion) sale of its Central European operations to Czech billionaire Petr Kellner’s PPF Group. The deal will see the Norwegian incumbent exit Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Montenegro, leaving it with operating units concentrated in Scandinavia and Asia.
When the dust settles, Telenor will be left with European opcos in Denmark, Sweden, and of course Norway. It will also still operate in Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia. For PPF’s part, the deal significantly expands its presence in the telecoms sector; the investment group currently has O2 Czech Republic and O2 Slovakia in its stable.
The four opcos that PPF has agreed to buy had a combined 9 million customers as of Q4 2017. Together, the assets generated NOK11.8 billion in revenue and NOK4.1 billion of EBITDA last year, equivalent to 9 percent and 8 percent of Telenor Group’s revenue and EBITDA respectively. The deal requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter. Telenor plans to use the proceeds to pay a special dividend of NOK4.4 per share.