Iliad Group has taken less than two years to establish itself as one of the leading players in Poland’s electronic communications industry.
Its acquisition spree began in September 2020, when it had an offer for a controlling stake in Play accepted by two major shareholders in the company.
It eventually went on the buy what is Poland’s leading mobile provider for €2.2 billion. By doing so, the group strengthened its own position as one of the largest operators in Europe, with 42 million subscribers in Poland, Italy and its home market France.
Not resting on its laurels, Iliad then set its sights on Poland’s fixed-line market and specifically UPC Polska. One of only two remaining Liberty Global assets in CEE following Liberty Global’s decision to exit the region, it had until recently been Poland’s leading cable operator but slipped to second place following Vectra’s acquisition of Multimedia Polska. In September 2021 Liberty Global agreed to sell UPC Polska to Iliad’s Play for €1.52 billion, with the transaction closing in April this year.
With Play and UPC Polska in its portfolio, Iliad found itself well placed to compete in the provision of converged services in what is a highly competitive market. It had also achieved scale, with the two companies claiming 15.7 million and 1.5 million subscribers respectively.
Iliad’s next move was to enter another segment of the Polish market and in doing so it chose Redge Technologies, one of the most dynamic companies in OTT and edge computing technologies across Central Europe. Founded 15 years ago and bought about by its management from Atende in 2020, its clients include Warner Bros. Discovery group’s TVN, Canal+, Vectra, Telewizja Polska, Ringier Axel Springer Polska, TV3 Baltics and indeed Play.
The acquisition of a 92.5% stake in Redge through Play was announced as recently as July 7 and is an investment in streaming technology that will strengthen Iliad’s position in Poland still further.
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