Telekom Austria to buy fixed operations in Slovenia and Croatia

Telekom Austria is snapping up more fixed-line operations in Central and Eastern Europe after agreeing to buy Amis Slovenia and Amis Croatia.

The Austrian operator said it would acquire 100 per cent of holding company Amisco NV from current owners Iris Capital, Kebek Private Equity and Amis' management. Although the expected purchase price was not disclosed, Reuters said reports suggest Telekom Austria could pay around €30 million ($33 million) for Amis. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015 and is subject to merger control clearance.

Amis provides internet, IPTV and telephony services to around 63,000 customers in Slovenia and about 23,000 customers in Croatia. In 2014 Amisco reported revenue of around €41 million, with some 80 per cent generated by the Slovenian unit.

Telekom Austria already owns Slovenia's second-largest mobile phone operator Si.mobil, and noted that the acquisition of Amis is a further step in its convergence strategy.

"It allows Telekom Austria Group to develop its Slovenian operations from a mobile-only player into a fully converged operator. In addition, it strengthens the Group's Croatian business, where it has been offering convergent services since 2011," the operator added.

Telekom Austria owns a mix of fixed and mobile operations in Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Liechtenstein and Slovenia. In April, the company unveiled plans to merge its Serbian and Slovenian businesses into one unit, with Croatia and Macedonia forming a separate second division.

It's not yet clear if the company plans to also integrate the separate consumer brands it operates in each of the four countries affected by the structural changes. The operator currently sells services under the Si.mobil brand in Slovenia, Vipnet in Croatia, VIP Mobile in Serbia, and VIP Operator in Macedonia.

In its recent first-quarter results Telekom Austria also noted that a return to revenue growth in 2015 "will depend to a large extent on the recovery of the strained economic situation in the CEE region."

The company currently expects to see group revenues increasing by around 2 per cent this year. In 2014, group revenue declined by 4 per cent to €4 billion.

For more:
- see this Telekom Austria release
- see this Reuters article

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