Telekom Austria expands Belarus operation

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

Fixed network to be integrated into Velcom mobile operation after Telekom Austria resumes acquisitions after five years

Telekom Austria has bought Belarus fixed-line operator Atlant Telecom and its cable TV subsidiary TeleSet.

The Vienna-based group, which already owns Velcom, a mobile operator in Belarus, bought the business from private equity firm ZUBR Capital and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Alejandro Plater, CEO and COO of Telekom Austria Group, said: "The acquisition of Atlant Telecom is a further step in Telekom Austria Group’s convergence strategy. It allows Telekom Austria Group to develop its Belarusian subsidiary Velcom from a mobile-only player into a fully converged operator."

It is the first significant takeover deal since Plater, a former Ericsson executive who is close to the group’s main shareholder América Móvil, became CEO in 2015. Telekom Austria was highly acquisitive under previous CEOs but the company called a halt to more acquisitions in 2011.

The purchaser of 100% of the shares says that "Atlant Telecom and TeleSet are the leading privately owned fixed-line operators in Belarus and deliver fixed-line broadband, IPTV and cable TV, as well as a video and audio library to their approximately 125,700 fixed broadband and 46,000 cable TV customers". The numbers are for the end of 2015.

"In the previous year, Atlant Telecom and TeleSet generated revenues and an EBITDA of approximately €16 million and €4 million respectively.

Telekom Austria has given no price for the deal, and says it will fund it through cashflow. "The closing is expected within the next days," the company added.