M&A surge hits CEE region

A series of recent deals has resulted in a spike in M&A activity in the central eastern European region across the TMT spectrum. With the bumper E18bn sale of Liberty Global’s assets in the region to Vodafone currently underway, the US cable giant is not alone in exiting the region, following in the recent footsteps of Telenor, which sold its central European assets to PPF Group in a E2.8bn deal. Market conditions are ripe for further consolidation, with TMT Finance exclusively reporting on the following deals.

• Liberty Global could look to divest UPC Polska and move to exit the region entirely, following its abandoned plans to acquire Polish cableco Multimedia Polska.

• Penta Investments is currently considering its options for Time Warner-owned Central European Media Enterprises (CME), after bidding partner CEFC Group backed out of the deal. Penta is still keen to put down an offer for CME and could now look to go at it alone or to partner with another potential buyer.

• Macquarie’s Infrastructure and Real Assets fund is considering options for its Czech broadcast and telecom infrastructure company České Radiokomunikace (CRa), reaching out to the market to test appetite for a potential sale.

• Slovakian broadband operators SWAN and BENESTRA have hired Lazard to explore a potential sale of various assets, currently believed to be valued at E150m.

• Bedminster Capital looking to sell Albanian cable business ABCom and Kosovar cableco Kujtesa, with Lazard hired to run the joint sale process that could value the two businesses at E50m.

• Macquarie is considering options for its Slovakian towerco asset Towercom, with a sale potentially on the cards. A financial adviser has not yet been hired.

• Greece’s Antenna Group is preparing the sale of Serbian media business PRVA, which could fetch up to E100m and a financial adviser yet to be hired.

• Alinda Capital Partners is considering options regarding Polish radio, TV and telecoms infrastructure operator Emitel. Goldman Sachs is understood to be close to the situation, although a financial adviser is not believed to have yet been appointed.

• Financial advisers are in the process of being hired by parent company Top Media Group for the sale of Albanian digital satellite and terrestrial TV company Digitalb, which could be valued at up to E100m.

• Bulgarian telecoms operator Vivacom is expected to come to market in 2018, worth around US$1.2bn. A formal process is not yet underway, nor financial adviser hired.

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