At the start of this year few people outside Hungary will have heard of the IT and communications company 4iG.
However, in the space of only a few months it has made a number of key acquisitions and emerged as an important player in Central and Eastern Europe’s telecoms industry.
The first, announced back in February and finalised in May, saw it enter into a preliminary agreement with Antenna Hungária (AH) and Portuguese Telecommunication Investments (PTI) to buy a 75% stake in Hungaro DigiTel (HDT). HDT is a leading Hungarian and regional satellite telecom company, providing services through its own terrestrial transmitting station.
The transaction was designed to build on the relationship 4iG already has with AH, Hungary’s national transmission company. Along with New Space Industries, they are behind a venture, named CarpathiaSat Hungarian Space Telecommunications Corporation, which plans to launch Hungary’s first commercial satellite in 2024.
4iG’s next major move took place at the end of March, when it entered into a preliminary and non-binding agreement to buy Digi Communications’ assets in Hungary. Romanian-owned Digi is one of the leading providers of telecom, including pay-TV, services in the country. Although it recently suffered a major blow in being excluded from a 5G auction in controversial circumstances, its decision to exit the market still came as something of a surprise.
4iG followed this up last month by announcing what will be its first international acquisition. Along with its subsidiaries HDT and CarpathiaSat, it has agreed to buy a 51% in Spacecom, the operator of the Amos satellite system, in a deal worth $65 million and expected to be finalised this autumn.
News of its second international deal came as recently as July 10, when it agreed to buy a 100% stake in Telenor Montenegro from the Czech Republic’s PPF Group. In his comments on the transaction, Gellért Jászai, CEO-chairman of 4iG, referred to it as being in line with 4iG’s regional expansion strategy and said that the company sees significant growth potential in the Western Balkans region.
More acquisitions are undoubtedly on the horizon.
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