Telenor sells telecom business in Europe for $3.4 bn

Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke
Telenor has sold its telecom business in Central and Eastern Europe to PPF Group for 2.8 billion euros or $3.44 billion.

Telenor’s mobile operations in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia and technology service provider Telenor Common Operation are part of the deal.

Telenor said the transaction price corresponds to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 6.4 based on 2017 EBITDA.

The operations contributed approximately NOK 11.8 billion or 9 percent of Telenor Group’s revenues and NOK 4.1 billion or 8 percent of EBITDA in 2017, and have more than 9 million customers and around 3,500 employees.

“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,” says Sigve Brekke, chief executive officer of Telenor Group.

Following this transaction, Telenor’s footprint will consist of fixed and mobile operations in Scandinavia, and mobile positions in Asia. Earlier, Telenor exited from India by selling its business to Airtel.

PPF Group is the largest private investment group in CEE with approximately EUR 35 billion of assets under its control. PPF Group earlier acquired 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 Bartonícek, PPF Group’s shareholder responsible for telecommunications assets within PPF.