White & Case LLP has advised global investor PPF Group on its acquisition of Telenor’s telecommunications assets in Central & Eastern Europe for €2.8 billion on an enterprise value basis
The transaction includes Telenor’s wholly-owned mobile operations in Hungary, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia and the technology service provider Telenor Common Operation. The CEE operations contributed approximately NOK 11.8 billion or 9% of Telenor Group’s revenues and NOK 4.1 billion or 8% of EBITDA in 2017, and have more than 9 million customers and around 3,500 employees.
PPF Group is the largest private investment group in CEE with approximately EUR 35 billion of assets under its control. PPF Group invests in various sectors, including banking, consumer finance, real estate, mining and telecommunications. Previous transaction experience includes the acquisition of O2 Czech Republic from Telefonica in 2013 and Nova Broadcasting Group in Bulgaria in 2018.
The agreed transaction price corresponds to an EV/EBITDA multiple of 6.4 based on 2017 EBITDA.
The parties have agreed on a deferred purchase price, where EUR 400 million of the proceeds will be paid in four instalments over four years.
The transaction requires necessary regulatory approval. The transaction is expected to be completed within Q3 2018. As of first quarter 2018, the CEE operations will be treated as an asset held for sale and discontinued operations in Telenor Group’s financial reporting. The transaction is estimated to result in an accounting gain after tax of around 3 NOK billion to be booked after the completion of the transaction.
Telenor has had mobile operations in the CEE region for 25 years. Telenor entered the Hungarian market in 1994 through the acquisition of Pannon and later expanded its presence in the region through launch of mobile services in Montenegro in 1996 and the acquisition of Mobi 063 in Serbia in 2006. Finally, Telenor acquired Globul in Bulgaria in 2013.
White & Case advised PPF Group on the transaction with a team led by partners Ken Barry (Picture), Jan Andruško (Prague) and Ian Bagshaw (London), and including partners Lindsey Canning, Colin Harley, Michael Wistow (all London) and Jonathan Weinberg (Prague), local partners Jan Stejskal and Tomas Jine (both Prague) and associates Joe Bradley, Chris Ewing, Paul Harrington (all London), Jan Jakoubek, Veronika Merjava and Radek Kraus (all Prague).
Involved fees earner: Kenneth Barry – White & Case; Jan Andruško – White & Case; Ian Bagshaw – White & Case; Jan Stejskal – White & Case; Jan Jakoubek – White & Case; Veronika Merjavá – White & Case; Lindsey Canning – White & Case; Colin Harley – White & Case; Jonathan Weinberg – White & Case; Tomáš Jín? – White & Case; Radek Kraus – White & Case; Michael Wistow – White & Case; Paul Harrington – White & Case;
Law Firms: White & Case;
Clients: PPF group;