O2 Czech Republic shareholders approve spin-off

29 April 2015 |

Shareholders at O2 Czech Republic have agreed to spin-off the company’s infrastructure arm into a new firm called CETIN, Reuters reports.

CETIN, which contributed to approximately half of the group’s operating profit last year, will not be publicly traded, and O2 shareholders will each be given one share in the new firm per existing O2 share.

What is left of O2 Czech Republic will continue as a publicly-listed operator, delivering voice, data and television services.

The decision was made during a 10 hour meeting which saw a divide between shareholders, with some believing the spin-off would devalue their investment.

Those shareholders that voted against the spin-off will have the right to sell their shares in CETIN at a price to be determined by audit. This price is expected to be close to the 150 crowns ($1.84) per share determined by a previous evaluation. The valuation for the final price is due to be held on June 1, 2015.

Tomas Hajek, who represents 550 shareholders at the company, told Reuters: “Why don’t they offer a fair buy-back, to give the people a decent exit? Why do they put them through this? Many families put their savings into this, it used to be a conservative investment.”

PPF investment group, owned by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, holds a majority 83% stake in O2 Czech Republic. Plans to split the company were first rumoured in August 2014, and again in January this year