Telenor Sells Eastern European Division for €2.8 Billion

Norwegian based telecom company Telenor sold its eastern European branch to the Czech based PPF Group for €2.8 billion. The deal is part of Telenor’s efforts to bring its focus to Asia and Scandinavia.

Specifically, Telenor is selling its mobile networks in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia. They are also unloading a small technology company. The sale price will be used to pay shareholders a special dividend of NKr4.40 ($0.57) per share, lower the company’s debt, and perhaps in the future, new acquisitions.

Together the four businesses service 9 million customers and make up about 9 percent of Telenor’s revenue and 8 percent of its profits.

The buyer, PPF Group, is a fund controlled by Petr Kellner, a Czech billionaire. PPF is the owner of O2’s mobile business in Slovakia as well as CETIN, the wholesale infrastructure provider.

The Norwegian government has a 54% stake in Telenor and is currently making changes to the telecom company after a corruption scandal connected to its share in the Russian competitor Veon, previously called VimpelCom.

CEO Sigve Brekke of Telenor said:

“Telenor Group’s strategy is based on growth, efficiency and simplification. With the sale of our [central and eastern Europe] 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.”

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