4iG has signed a final agreement to acquire 80.27% of the shares of ALBtelecom, a majority-owned subsidiary of Turkey’s Çalik Holding, for an undisclosed fee.
ALBtelecom is Albania’s leading fixed line internet and TV operator, the largest owner of a fibre network in the country and mobile operator with a significant network of its own.
Thanks to the transaction, Çalik Holding, one of the largest conglomerates in Turkey, will become an institutional investor in 4iG. The acquisition of a controlling majority stake in ALBtelecom is expected to be closed in January 2022, subject to the approval of the Albanian authorities. The Albanian state will retain a minority interest in the company through the Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy (13.78%) and the Albanian Post (2.47%).
4iG notes that it will acquire ALBtelecom’s shares in a multi-step transaction, which will result in Çalik Holding acquiring a stake of around 3.2% in the Hungarian info-communications group as an institutional investor. The Albanian state will remain 4iG’s joint shareholder in ALBtelecom and the cooperation could open up further joint business opportunities for Çalik Holding and 4iG in the Balkans and Central Asia.
Commenting on the transaction, Gellért Jászai, Chairman & CEO of 4iG, said: “ALBtelecom is a telecommunications provider with strong growth potential. The acquisition is an important step our expansion in the Western Balkans telco sector, which may open up further opportunities for us in the Albanian telecommunications and IT markets.
“We have come to the country as a strategic investor, where we want to be present in the long term in providing high quality services to retail and corporate customers. Our acquisition is an important step through our strategic goals, and we are committed to the development of the Albanian telecom sector and Albania’s digitalisation efforts”.
Ahmet Çalik, president of Çalik Holding, added: “We are pleased that ALBtelecom will be owned by a strategic investor committed to the company. This is the first step in developing our strategic partnership with 4iG Group, which can provide further business opportunities for both of our companies in the future”.
ALBtelecom that was founded in 1912 and now has 743 employees is present in all areas of telecommunications (TV, fixed voice, mobile voice, and broadband internet). Last year, it had an EBITDA of €17.4 million on revenues of €57.9 million. The company is the largest landline telecommunications provider in Albania with 168,000 fixed voice, 129,000 internet and 71,000 TV subscribers, and the third largest mobile operator with 420,000 mobile subscribers.
ALBtelecom also has a large telecommunications infrastructure: in addition to Albania’s largest optical backbone network of 4,500km, it also has the geographically greatest optical network coverage (GPON). In addition to its wired infrastructure, ALBtelecom also has 450 mobile repeater stations, many of which provide network connectivity by its own optical network.