Telekom Austria acquires largest cable operator in Croatia
Telekom Austria has announced the purchase of a 100% stake in cable operator B.net for €93 million, through its Croatian subsidiary Vipnet.
The acquisition will enable Vipnet to launch product bundles comprising fixed net voice telephony, broadband, mobile communication and TV services from a single source.
Telekom Austria has expressed a hope that the combination of pay-TV and fixed net broadband products will be one of the largest areas for growth in the medium term, and forecasts an average annual growth rate of 10.8% for this technology. Telekom Austria already provides bundled services via a number of its operating companies, most notably A1 Telekom Austria.
Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO of Telekom Austria Group, said: “Fixed to mobile convergence has turned into a fundamental business driver in the telecommunications industry and represents an important strategic pillar for the Telekom Austria Group.”
Telekom Austria is currently pursuing the convergence of fixed net and mobile communications beyond the Austrian borders, including the acquisition of two fibre-optic operators in Bulgaria in September 2010. Ametsreiter regards the acquisition of B.net as a further step in this strategy.
With nearly 120,000 customers, B.net is the largest cable operator in Croatia, reaching 18% of Croatian households and with a footprint in seven cities. The business is an attractive acquisition, having experienced significant financial successes in recent years, with revenues growing from €16.3 million in 2008 to €28.3 million in 2010 and EBITDA growing from €1.2 million to €8.2 million over the same period.
Jutta Mosbach, a spokesperson for Telekom Austria, said that the Group expects the acquisition will “have no impact on the Group’s outlook in 2011”, but that it will contribute positively to the Group’s cashflow from 2012.