The owners of Poland's second largest mobile operator, Polkomtel, have entered exclusive negotiations with Polish billionaire Zygmunt Solorz-Zak to sell the operator, according to multiple reports. Sources close to the deal told both Bloomberg and Reuters that the local media tycoon has been chosen after he secured adequate financing to acquire Polkomtel.
Rumours from within the group of companies selling the mobile operator say that Solorz-Zak, Poland's second-richest man, outbid private equity firm Apax Partners and Telenor with an offer said to be valued 18 billion zloty (€4.52 billion), according to Bloomberg.
One view of why Solorz-Zak has emerged as the main bidder is that he is keen to include Polkomtel within his media empire, adding telecoms weight to his pay-TV operation, Cyfrowy Polsat, which is the leading provider in Poland.
"If Solorz-Zak wins, we suddenly have a big multimedia group, one which could not be compared with anything else in Poland," BZ WBK analyst Pawel Puchalski told Reuters. "Synergies will be great and it would be a new power which will change the market, not in the sense of novelties but as the new leading force."
However, Polkomtel will face increasingly stiff competition from the leading service provider TPSA, which is owned by France Telecom Orange, as well as a rejuvenated Deutsche Telekom, which launched a 100 million zloty (€25.1 million) rebranding campaign in Poland last month.
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