Tycoon swoops for Polkomtel

Tycoon swoops for Polkomtel

The Polish tycoon Zygmunt Solorz-Zak has agreed to purchase Polish mobile operator Polkomtel for approximately $6.5 billion.

The deal is said to be one of the largest European telecom sector buyouts in years and the largest acquisition ever made in Poland. As part of the deal, UK operator Vodafone, which owns a 24.4% share in Polkomtel, is set to receive approximately $1.2 billion as it continues its strategy of selling minority holdings.

Solorz-Zak was reportedly competing with Norwegian telco Telenor and private equity firm Apax to take-over the mobile operator, which is the second largest in Poland. The deal is subject to approval from the Polish competition authority and is expected to be completed later this year.

Jarosław Grzesiak, a corporate partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, the law firm representing Solorz-Zak, claimed the transaction “is a historic milestone in Poland’s post-credit crunch economy”.

“The acquisition is a response to the rising demand for bundled phone, internet data and TV services in Poland and demonstrates that the market is primed for major deals again,” added Grzesiak.

Polkomtel has about 14 million customers for voice and internet services across Poland. Solorz-Zak has signalled his plans to use the acquisition to drive forward the deployment of LTE networks across the nation.

The media entrepreneur Solorz-Zak is one of Poland’s richest men and as of March 2011 was estimated to have a net worth of approximately $2.4 billion according to Forbes. He joins a growing number of tycoons with a vetted interest in the telecoms market, which Capacity identified in its recent ‘Billion Dollar Men’ feature.

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