Following the transaction, PPF Group will retain majority 70% ownership in the group.
In a statement, PPF Group says that the transaction underscores the confidence among major international investors in the strategy PPF pioneered in 2015 and has since pursued: building and operating complex fixed and mobile telecommunications networks and providing infrastructure as a service to retail operators. PPF and GIC have agreed that the new minority shareholder in CETIN will have appropriate representation on the company’s board of directors. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
According to PPF Group shareholder and CEO Ladislav Bartonícek, “When we entered the telecommunications sector almost eight years ago, we said that PPF wanted to offer state-of-the-art services to the European market. We are proud to partner with GIC, a major and respected international investor renowned for its unparalleled ability to identify value in stable assets capable of generating solid long-term returns”.
Ang Eng Seng, GIC’s chief investment officer of infrastructure, added: “As a long-term investor, we are confident that the digital infrastructure sector will continue to grow robustly and CETIN, as the leading telecom platform in Central Eastern Europe, is well positioned to capitalise on that growth. We are committed to building a long-term partnership with PPF and CETIN’s management to bring CETIN to the next stage of its development”.
CETIN Group CEO Juraj Sedivy said: “The investment horizon and flexibility of GIC’s investment strategy are in harmony with both PPF and CETIN’s long-term approach to creating shareholder value. “Our partnership with GIC opens new possibilities for CETIN Group to draw upon the expertise of a leading global infrastructure fund and new prospects in our pursuit of business and growth opportunities in the telecommunications infrastructure market”.
CETIN Group operates infrastructure in the Czech Republic (O2) and those of Telenor’s former assets in Hungary, Bulgaria and Serbia.