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PPF's purchase of Telefónica confirmed

THE COMPANY PPF, owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner, has officially confirmed the purchase of the Czech and Slovak branches of the mobile operator Telefónica, which provides telecom services and internet connection under the brand O2. The firm will buy 66-percent stock for €2.467 billion. The purchase has to be confirmed by regulatory offices, the Sme.sk website reported.

THE COMPANY PPF, owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner, has officially confirmed the purchase of the Czech and Slovak branches of the mobile operator Telefónica, which provides telecom services and internet connection under the brand O2. The firm will buy 66-percent stock for €2.467 billion. The purchase has to be confirmed by regulatory offices, the Sme.sk website reported.

The PPF will finance the purchase through a loan from Société General, as well as its own sources. Telefónica will still control about 4.9 percent in the Czech branch.

The deal is not expected to bring any immediate changes to Telefónica’s 1.5 million clients in Slovakia. But the operator will probably change its name, logo and products, the Sme daily wrote on October 29.

The market value of the Czech branch of Telefónica, which also controls the Telefónica business in Slovakia, is about €4 billion.

The Spanish operator is selling its business in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to obtain money for paying debts. It has borrowed €50 billion from its investors and is the most indebted operator in Europe, Sme wrote.

While Telefónica is the biggest operator in the Czech Republic, with 5.4 million clients, in Slovakia it has just 1.5 million clients. It began providing services in Slovakia in 2006.

The operator will continue to invest in its own network. It plans to extend its 3G network in order to cover 56.4 percent of the population by the end of 2013. It has also enrolled in the auction for the fourth generation mobile network license.

Kellner has already entered the energy sector in Slovakia. He has acquired via his companies the national gas utility SPP and also seeks to acquire a stake in the regional electricity distributor Stredoslovenská Energetika. This is PPF’s first venture into the telecom sector.

Source: Sme.sk, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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